Background: Despite some notable significant improve on HIV/AIDS reduction or alleviation, the war against the HIV pandemic is not over as many people are blindly believing nowadays. A countless number of researches have been conducted on nurse’s knowledge, attitudes and practices when caring for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Purpose of the study: The study aimed at determining and describing the knowledge, attitudes and practices of fourth year nursing students when caring for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Method: A quantitative study, descriptive in nature was employed in the study. Data was collected using a questionnaire. A total sample size of 76 UNAM fourth year nursing students was used.
Main findings: The overall perceived knowledge of students was good. However there were few drawbacks in the perceived knowledge some students believed that HIV can be transmitted through casual contact (23.7%) and also that it cannot be transmitted through blood transfusion (36.8%). Most students believed that PLWH have the same right to equal treatment as other patients (40.5%). However some students (5.3) believed that PLWH have them selves to blame, other had no sympathy for the misery PLWH go through, (43.4%).
Conclusions: The student nurses showed good general knowledge on HIV related topic, however they lacked in-depth knowledge on HIV mode of transmission. Students portrayed fair attitude towards PLWH as most of them have no sympathy for PLWH and also they showed constant worry of contracting the virus from the patients. The students had good practices when caring for PLWH; however the constant recapping of used needles is of great concern.
Recommendations: UNAM should introduce a HIV/AIDS management module and also to locate nursing students to ART clinics for at least a month starting even from third year to fourth year.