Social, demographic and attitudinal correlates of AIDS: Knowledge in the general population of spain

A. Peruga, D. D. Celentano, V. Navarro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The association between AIDS knowledge and various social, demographic and attitudinal variables was examined to elicit a better understanding of what makes some individuals more knowledgeable than others about HIV infection. A total of 1,800 individuals were surveyed in Madrid (Spain). Results show that having a low level of education (ORadj = 4.3, 95% Cl 3.0, 6.2), being older than 45 years (ORadj = 3.3, 95% Cl 2.4, 4.5) and being on the right of the political spectrum (ORadj = 2.7, 95% Cl 1.8, 4.0) increases the odds of having a low level of AIDS knowledge. Given the educational and political characteristics of those less knowledgeable, health education efforts need to convey simple and understandable messages adapted to their way of thinking. Results also show that lack of knowledge is associated with fear. A catastrophic perception of the magnitude of the epidemic (ORadj = 1.9, 95% Cl 1.4, 2.5) is strongly associated with low knowledge. However, lack of knowledge is associated not only with fear but also with the support of coercive measures to prevent the spread of HIV Infection. Therefore, health education messages that incite fear of AIDS and feelings of vulnerability may increase coercion as well as affecting AIDS knowledge.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-13
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Public Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1993


  • Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome
  • Cross-sectional studies
  • HIV
  • Ideological factors
  • Knowledge and attitudes
  • Spain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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