What is the accurate knowledge of the German population regarding sexual HIV transmission?

Int J Public Health. 2009;54(3):193-5. doi: 10.1007/s00038-009-8034-4.


Objectives: HIV incidence in Germany is increasing even though the German Federal Centre for Health Education reported that the entire German population (99 %) has sufficient knowledge of sexual HIV transmission. We tried to find out the reason for this discrepancy.

Methods: HIV transmission knowledge was investigated in a Munich population (n = 317) and the findings compared with a nationwide study.

Results: No differences in knowledge regarding needle sharing and HIV/AIDS curability were found but, in relation to sexual HIV transmission, only 55.5 % of Munich respondents had sufficient knowledge of vaginal, anal and oral transmission routes.

Conclusions: The knowledge level reported in the nationwide study is overestimated as a result of the ambiguous character of the questions used.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Condoms
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Germany
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Needle Sharing / adverse effects
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Unsafe Sex*
  • Young Adult