ABSTRACT: There are always some assumptions that are made about the knowledge of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) phenomenon among graduating high school seniors. To ascertain their knowledge, a categorical survey questionnaire was designed featuring yes and no answers, a Likert scale, and qualitative response questions to the problem of HIV/AIDS prevention behavior. It was administered to first semester nursing college students at an historically black college and university (HBCU) in northeastern United States. These freshman students were enrolled in the course University Seminar. The class consisted of 68 students (64 females and 4 males). The students in this class anonymously completed the questionnaire about their perceptions and knowledge of the HIV/AIDS phenomenon. Findings from the study indicated that the majority of the students knew that HIV/AIDS could make an individual sick enough to die. The students stated, however, that they were willing to submit to the sexual demands of their partners, even when they refused to wear condoms. Of the 64 female students who responded to the questionnaire, 38 stated that using a condom might diminish their feeling during the sexual experience and they thought that it was very important that that did not happen. Therefore, this situation might affect a student's decision as to whether or not to insist on using a condom. In conclusion, it is recommended that intensive HIV/AIDS education be incorporated into the curriculum and the questionnaire be repeated in these students' junior and senior years to ascertain whether or not there was a change in their attitudes.
Journal of National Black Nurses' Association: JNBNA 01/2008; 18(2):24-9.