Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research

ISSN: 2155-6113

Open Access

Attitude and Cognitive Distortion on HIV/AIDS among Undergraduate Students of Madda Walabu University, Southeast Ethiopia


Abera Getachew and Gobena Daniel

Introduction: Worldwide over half of all new infections are among young people. The primary prevention and control of the spread of HIV/AIDS infection is through awareness and changing behaviour remains at the highest priority. The aim of the study was to assess the attitude and cognitive distortion towards HIV/AIDS among undergraduate students of Madda Walabu University Southeast Ethiopia. Methods: Cross sectional study with quantitative methods of data collection was employed among 605 randomly selected under graduate regular students in March, 2014. Data were collected using self-administering questionnaire. The analysis employed using SPSS version 20 to calculate t-test and ANOVA. Result: The average number of students of Madda Walabu University who had poor attitude on sexual abstinence241 (39.8%), mutual monogamy 274 (45.3%), use of condom 227 (37.5%) and towards people living with HIV. The ANOVA psychological–cognitive distortion of the study participants had statistically significant difference among students age [F (6,594)=2.134, P<0.05] and academic year level [F (6,598)=2.471, p<0.05] on their total score of all-or- nothing thinking. Statistical significant difference was also observed between age and overgeneralization thinking of participants, F (6,594)=2.619, p<0.05 and residential status, F(6,593)=3.646, p<0.01. Similarly, age of the students has a statistical significant effect on mental filtration, F (6,594=2.399, p<0.05). One sample t-test showed t-value for abstinence (t=-1.096, mutual monogamy df=604, <0.05) and condom use (t=-283, df=604, p<0.05) was less than the critical t-value at 0.05 level. Conclusion: Socio-demographic variables such as age, sex, academic year level, admission type, had significant effect on cognitive distortions or dysfunctional belief about sexual abstinence, mutual monogamy and condom use. Students indicate unfavourable attitude towards those infected with HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS counselling, health education and intervention strategies must focus on behavioural changes, safer sex and changing the negative attitude towards HIV/AIDS.


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