This article describes components surrounding British nursing students' (n = 138) knowledge base, attitudes towards HIV/AIDS, homophobia level, willingness to care for individuals with HIV/AIDS and attitudes to sexual risk behaviours. The data were collected by questionnaire and analysed by statistical methods. Out of the 33 knowledge questions, the mean value of correct answers was 22.2 (Min 13, Max 29, SD 3.27). Students who had taken care of people with AIDS and who were willing to take care of these people showed more positive attitudes to the disease and people with AIDS. Older age and reluctance to care for a person with AIDS were associated with a high level of homophobic attitudes. Students demonstrated a positive approach to carrying out general nursing tasks for a person with HIV/AIDS. Having been asked to care or having cared for a patient with HIV/AIDS, and being single were associated with a higher level of willingness to care for these patients. Female sex, older age and having children were associated with more cautious attitudes to sexual risk behaviours. The results underline the importance of providing education about HIV/AIDS and supporting student nurses who are afraid they might contract the disease in nursing tasks.
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