‘It’ first appeared in 1981 in the United States of America. Since then ‘it’ has only
grown larger and by the end of year 2006, some 1,106,400 people in US were living with ‘it’
and around 21% were undiagnosed. Some 56,300 people become infected with ‘it’ in 2006
alone. ‘It’ killed 14,561 people in the US and its dependent areas in 2007 and some 583,298
people have succumbed to ‘it’ as of 2007 in US and the death toll is rising every passing day.
(CDC. HIV Prevalence Estimates—United States, 2006. MMWR 2008; 57(39):1073-6.).The
‘it’ discussed here is HIV AIDS. We have failed miserably to curb its growth, leave alone
finding a cure, for this dreadful disease even after 28 years of its first appearance.
World over efforts are being made to prevent the transmission of Human Immune-
deficiency Virus from one individual to another. The main modes of HIV transmission are:
1. Sexual Contact – both homosexual as well as heterosexual
2. Injection drug use
3. Peri-natal (mother to child transmission)
4. Blood transfusion
In 2007, out of a total of 44,084 cases, 36,099 newly diagnosed cases of HIV
AIDS were found out to be caused due to sexual transmission. Thus, sexual transmission
consists of more than 81 % of the newly diagnosed cases. (CDC HIV/AIDS Surveillance
Report 2007) This important method of transmission can be easily controlled by education of
the public and use of simple contraceptive measures. Commercial sex workers are thus, an
important source of HIV infection to their clients and subsequently to the general population.
Thus, sex workers can be an important target in our efforts to reduce the transmission of HIV
AIDS. However, an important limitation is the knowledge of these sex workers about HIV
and safe sex and their beliefs and attitude towards it and their ability to practice it. This
learning issue envisages to focus on these issues and determine options to deal with it.
What is a KAP study?
KAP study stands for knowledge, attitude and practice study.KAP studies are
“highly focused evaluations that measure changes in human knowledge, attitudes and
practices in response to a specific intervention, usually outreach, demonstration or education”
(The Duluth Lakeside Neighbourhood KAP Study Karlyn Eckman and Rachel Walker, July
2008). KAP studies are an important tool in the field of public health. They are more cost
effective and they also use resources sparingly in comparison to other methods of social
research because of their great focus and limitations of scope.
Social surveys include a broader range, whereas KAP studies focus only on a
particular topic. The emphasis in a KAP study is on:
Knowledge: It is the understanding of a particular topic. What does a community
know about a certain thing ?
Attitude: It means what they feel about a particular thing and the pre conceived
notions which they might...