Knowledge, attitudes and risk behaviour related to HIV and AIDS: The case of international students in a Finnish university

Tarja Suominen, Caroline Karanja-Pernu, Jari Kylmä, Jarmo Houtsonen, Maritta Anneli Vaelimaeki

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this pilot study was to illustrate international university students' knowledge of HIV and AIDS, attitudes towards HIV and AIDS and risk behaviours in relation to HIV and AIDS. Questionnaires were posted to 140 students, and 32 responded. Data were analysed statistically. The results indicated a fairly good knowledge level of HIV and AIDS. The majority of students were well aware of the general facts about HIV and AIDS, modes of transmission and main risk groups, and they were also aware of the universal precautions. The majority of students had positive attitudes towards persons with HIV and AIDS and were willing to care for them. The students identified well with risk behaviours. Most agreed that their knowledge level of HIV and AIDS did affect their risk behaviours, while others felt it was a matter of choice, personal attitude and practice. Choice is a determining factor for decisions made by students in relation to HIV and AIDS. Future research focusing on factors influencing these choices that put them at risk of contracting the HIV virus is recommended. Students also need to be enlightened on matters concerning symptoms of HIV and AIDS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)910-918
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • AIDS
  • Attitudes
  • HIV
  • Knowledge
  • Risk behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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