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June 1991

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome PreventionKnowledge, Attitudes, and Practices of Primary Care Physicians

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Sociomedical Sciences, Columbia University School of Public Health (Drs Gemson, Colombotos, and Elinson, and Ms Hynes) and the Division of AIDS Research, New York City Department of Health (Drs Fordyce and Stoneburner), New York, NY.

Arch Intern Med. 1991;151(6):1102-1108. doi:10.1001/archinte.1991.00400060046008

We conducted a telephone survey of a probability sample of 473 internists, family practitioners, general practitioners, and obstetrician-gynecologists in New York City (NY) in 1988 to assess their knowledge, attitudes, and practices with respect to the prevention of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Although 71% of the physicians had cared for a patient with AIDS and 90% had been involved in ordering the human immunodeficiency virus antibody test, only about a third of them took appropriate sexual histories of new patients and only about a quarter (28%) counseled new patients about reducing the risk of contracting AIDS. Multivariate analysis revealed that physician knowledge about AIDS prevention was associated with younger age, more positive attitude toward homosexual males and intravenous drug users, confidence that counseling would result in behavioral change among patients, and specialty other than obstetrics-gynecology. Results indicate a need for increased training and education of primary care physicians about AIDS prevention.

(Arch Intern Med. 1991;151:1102-1108)