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Survey about the knowledge of the HIV infection amongst recruits of the German military

Pistorius, A.; Gergen, G.; Willershausen, B.

European Journal of Medical Research 8(4): 154-160

2003


ISSN/ISBN: 0949-2321
PMID: 12765861
Accession: 050470586

In the complex organizational unit of the German military (Bundeswehr), certain social conflicts and tensions may occur because of potential extreme situations and specific areas of conflict. The aim of this study was to obtain information from German military recruits regarding their knowledge of and behavioral patterns on the subject of HIV/AIDS. 219 Soldiers in the military barracks in the state of Rhineland-Palatinate (Germany) were surveyed by means of a questionnaire (return rate 96.8%). The questionnaire comprised the following subjects: level of and requirements for information, fear of infection, behavioral pattern when in contact with HIV-infected persons as well as attitude towards governmental regulations. 4% of the surveyed soldiers considered their own knowledge about the subject of HIV/AIDS to be very good, 44% as good, 41% as sufficient and 7% as insufficient. 74% considered education to be necessary, and 26% felt it was not necessary. 68% of the surveyed subjects indicated that their protection of choice against infection was fidelity in partnership. 25% were of the opinion that an HIV-infected soldier should be discharged from military services and almost 20% supported that the entire barracks should be informed of such a case. 61% of those who were in favor of an obligatory registration by name (36%) also supported continued observation of the person infected with HIV. According to the surveyed soldiers, certain groups such as blood donors (86%), medical personnel (71%) as well as enlisted soldiers (28%) should receive mandatory testing. The relatively broad spectrum of opinions indicated the necessity to offer sound information and raised the question of an official regulation.

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