Date of Award

Fall 12-15-2016

Degree Type

Honors Thesis

Department

Microbiology

First Advisor

Rachel Watson

Abstract

In 2006, the Centers for Disease Control recommended that all patients aged 13-64 be tested for HIV, regardless of lifestyle risks. This recommendation was implemented because in 2006, it was shown that risk based screening was insufficient and does not successfully identify all HIV cases. Early detection is beneficial both with respect to improving treatment outcomes in HIV patients and decreasing transmission to previously uninfected individuals. This recommendation still holds true in 2016. In 2007, Kristine Young (a University of Wyoming Honors student) administered a survey that sought to assess University of Wyoming student knowledge regarding the previously mentioned CDC recommendation. Furthermore, this survey attempted to identify issues that kept students from following the recommendation. Data were collected using a survey that was given to students regarding HIV testing and their observations concerning HIV awareness on campus. This study seeks to reevaluate University of Wyoming student awareness regarding this CDC recommendation and issues that may keep University of Wyoming students from following the recommendation by re-administering the same survey that was used in 2007. The results from this study will then be compared to the results obtained in the 2007 study. In order to make the most accurate comparison, we valued similarity in every aspect of the study, and therefore attempted to survey a similar student population. In 2007, around 50% of students were aware of the CDC recommendation but 68% of these students had still not been tested. In 2016, approximately 37% of students were aware of the recommendation and of this percentage, 60% of students still remained untested. However, most students had learned about HIV/AIDS before coming to college. So, while over the past decade, awareness of the 2006 CDC recommendation in students on the UW campus appears to have gone down, we could not attribute lack of general knowledge to this decrease.

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