HIV/AIDS: Azerbaijanis’ Attitudes and Knowledge Explored

There has been growing concern about HIV/AIDS in the South Caucasus. But what kind of knowledge and attitudes about the disease exist in the region? By using data from the CRRC 2004 Data Initiative (DI) and conducting focus groups Gulshan Tagiyeva analyzed the knowledge and attitudes about HIV/AIDS in Azerbaijan.

Based on the results from 2004 CRRC DI survey, the fellow showed that the population in Azerbaijan is less informed about HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases than Georgians and Armenians. Additionally, a large percentage of Azerbaijanis, particularly women, are unsure about how people become infected with HIV/AIDS. There is also very low social acceptance of those who are HIV positive. For example, of respondents in Baku only 8.9 % do not mind doing business and 5 % being friends with people who have HIV/AIDS (2004 CRRC survey).

This research demonstrates more work clearly needs to be done in Azerbaijan to increase HIV/AIDS awareness and social acceptance of those who have HIV/AIDS, particularly among women. The author has drafted a manual (in Azeri) to help promote AIDS education. Her report and a presentation (both in Azeri) can also be downloaded.

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