ABSTRACT: Patient education concerning HIV and antiretroviral (ARV) medications is important for optimal outcomes. The authors assessed the knowledge and perceptions of HIV-infected patients in an ARV education program in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Of 185 patients, 64 (35%) receiving ARV medications, nearly 80% correctly answered questions regarding HIV. Correct responses were associated with higher education (P < .05) and longer duration of HIV diagnosis (P < .05). A lack of knowledge was observed in 40% of respondents who believed HIV and AIDS were the same and 70% of respondents who believed ARV medications cured HIV. Greater embarrassment of living with HIV was associated with female gender (P < .05) and lower education (P < .05). Patients were concerned over ARV medication use (27%) and its side effects (38%). The study population's knowledge of HIV/AIDS and ARV medications, perceived stigmatization, and areas of knowledge deficits underscore the need for effective patient education programs addressing poorly understood issues around HIV/AIDS.
Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health 12/2011; · 1.06 Impact Factor