Knowledge and attitudes about HIV/AIDS of dental students from Kuwait and Sri Lanka

Arjuna N.B. Ellepola, Devipriya B. Sundaram, Sumedha Jayathilake, Bobby K. Joseph, Prem Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Several studies regarding knowledge and attitudes of dental students towards HIV/AIDS have been reported from various countries. However, to the best of our knowledge, an international comparison between countries with diverse cultural and educational backgrounds has not been reported in the literature. The aim of this study was to compare the knowledge and attitudes towards HIV/AIDS of dental students of Kuwait University (KU), Kuwait and the University of Peradeniya (UP), Sri Lanka, the only dental schools in the respective countries. A cross-sectional survey was conducted among a total of 258 dental students, representing the clinical years of both universities, using a similar structured questionnaire with sixty questions to examine their knowledge of various aspects of HIV/AIDS and thirteen questions to examine their attitudes towards the disease. The mean knowledge and attitude scores were calculated and compared between students from the two universities using t-test with SPSS 17.0. A total of 215 questionnaires were completed and returned, giving a total response rate of 83.3 percent. The KU students were significantly more knowledgeable (p=0.018) regarding HIV/AIDS than the UP students. However, the UP students demonstrated a more highly significant positive attitude (p<0.001) towards the disease than those in KU. This information might help to define strategies to improve the quality of education in these countries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)574-581
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Dental Education
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2011


  • AIDS
  • Dental students
  • HIV
  • Kuwait
  • Sri Lanka


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