"Getting AIDS: Not in my back yard." Results from a national knowledge, attitudes and practices survey

Daniel Chemtob, Beverley Damelin, Niva Bessudo-Manor, Rommey Hassman, Yair Amikam, Jonathan M. Zenilman, Dov Tamir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Israel, as a country of immigration, has a heterogeneous distribution of risk for human immunodeficiency virus. Therefore, general population-based surveys of sexual behaviors among young adults may be useful for guiding prevention policy. To the best of our knowledge, the present survey is the first one among Israeli adults ever published. Objectives: To survey knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding sexually transmitted infections in Israeli adults in order to target the future AIDS public campaigns for the general population. Methods: A national sample of 800 individuals, aged 18-45, was interviewed telephonically in September 2000. Results: The average number of sexual partners reported in the previous 3 months was 1.3. Accurate knowledge on HIV transmission modes was expressed by 99% of respondents for unprotected sexual intercourse, 97% for re-use of needles and syringes, and 85% for mother-to-child infection. However, incorrect notions on transmission were also prevalent (34% for insect bites, 29% for kissing and 21% for public toilets). Prevention of STIs and prevention of pregnancy were the most common reasons for using condoms (72-73%); HIV prevention was the motivation for 39%. Fifty percent of single individuals without steady partners always/usually used condoms. It was decided that women need empowerment to negotiate condom use. Conclusions: Gaps were found between knowledge (at high level), attitudes (perceiving greater risk for others than themselves) and behavioral practices (combining low level of partner exchange with widespread disregard for safe sex). Promptly implemented, these findings will serve as a baseline for further surveys.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)610-614
Number of pages5
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006


  • Behavioral surveys
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • Migration
  • Safe sex
  • Sexually transmitted infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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    Chemtob, D., Damelin, B., Bessudo-Manor, N., Hassman, R., Amikam, Y., Zenilman, J. M., & Tamir, D. (2006). "Getting AIDS: Not in my back yard." Results from a national knowledge, attitudes and practices survey. Israel Medical Association Journal, 8(9), 610-614.