AIDS knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors in active duty Army personnel: Instrument validation
The problem of the study was a lack of valid and reliable instruments for the measurement of AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors. The purpose of the study was to develop a valid and reliable instrument for the measurement of AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors among sectors of active duty Army personnel. An instrument validational study was conducted in which the AIDS Awareness Questionnaire (AAQ) and the Information and Opinion Questionnaire (IOQ) were administered in sets to a volunteer sample of 860 active duty Army personnel in two contrasting groups. Group 1, the routine HIV/AIDS briefing group, consisted of 680 subjects: 609 males and 71 females, ranging in age from 17 to 49 years. Group 2, the group screened for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), consisted of 180 subjects: 161 males and 19 females, ranging in age from 18 to 45. Results indicated a positive correlation between knowledge and attitudes on the AIDS Awareness Questionnaire and Information and Opinion Questionnaire; and a significant negative correlation between preventive behaviors and inclusion in the STD group. Three patterns of AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors were profiled based on rank, age, gender, race, marital status, and hours of prevention education attended. Significant predictors with the highest predictive values for inclusion in the STD group are AIDS-related attitudes and behaviors, a black ethnic background, and being a participant in age group 1 (17 to 24 years). Items of the AIDS Awareness Questionnaire that discriminated between the contrasting groups were: shaking hands risk, contact with blood, contact with perspiration, insect bites, sharing IV drug needles, unprotected oral sex, screen pregnant women, cure soon, helplessness, news exaggerates, behavioral assessment, public protection, sex less romantic, uncomfortable, number of sexual partners, partner's number of partners, IV drug partner, sex just met, and alcohol prior to sex. It was concluded that the AIDS Awareness Questionnaire is related to but not a duplicate of the Information and Opinion Questionnaire. The AIDS Awareness Questionnaire has established a degree of validity for measuring AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors among sectors of U.S. Army personnel based on items that discriminate between the contrasting groups.