Knowledge of Palestinian girls and women about HIV/AIDS: behavioural policy-oriented approach for health promotion
Ayesha M. Al Rifai, United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA)
This is a descriptive survey targetting all married and unmarried Palestinian females within the age group 15-49 years, in addition to selected policy makers. Its aim was to examine the extent of knowledge Palestinian girls and women possess about HIV/AIDS and other STDs and identify government HIV/AIDS policy. A total of 1047 females participated by filling in a questionnaire, 124 by participating in focus groups discussions and 6 policy makers by being interviewed. Data collection instruments were all based on a new framework for HIV surveillance developed jointly by UNAIDS, WHO, and FHI. The study revealed considerable information gaps about HIV/AIDS infection, negative discrimination against victims and sever misconceptions about means of protection and transmission. At the policy level, prevention was the prime intervention area with emphasis being placed on programmes to ensure universal precautions in health care settings, school-based AIDS education for youth, and blood safety.