Blood-borneinfections has become major public health issue all over the world. Although there are awide range of blood borne pathogens including malaria, syphilis, andbrucellosis, however Hepatitis B (HBV), Hepatitis C (HCV), and the HumanImmunodeficiency Virus (HIV) are the three most well-known blood borne pathogens(Environmental Health & Safety, 2017).
According to the Global Hepatitis Report, 2017 of WHO, anestimated 257 million people were living with chronic HBV infection in 2015.Viral hepatitis caused 1.34 million deaths in 2015 and most of them were due tochronic liver disease (720 000 deaths due to cirrhosis) and primary livercancer (470 000 deaths due to hepatocellular carcinoma) which are believed to result from HBV or HCVinfections (WHO 2017, WHO 2016).In Bangladesh, about 4%-7% of population are sufferingfrom hepatitis B infection and about3.5% of pregnant mothers are carrying the hepatitis B virus(National LiverFoundation of Bangldesh 2017, Mahtab 2008).
About 2.7 million ofthe 36.7 million living with HIV are also infected with HBV.
The globalprevalence of HBV infection in HIV-infected persons is 7.4% (WHO 2017).In 2013, there were 35 millionpeople living with HIV.Worldwide, 2.
1 millionpeople became newly infected with HIV in 2013 and 1.5 million people died fromAIDS related causes. In Asia and the Pacific there were 4.8million people livingwith HIV and 250 000 people died of AIDS-related causes in 2013. Therewere 22 000 new HIV infections among children in Asia andthe Pacific in 2013 (UNIAID 2013, WHO 2016).
Theoverall prevalence of HIV in Bangladesh is less than 1%, however, high levelsof HIV infection have been found among injecting drug users (7% in one part ofthe capital city, Dhaka). Due to the limited access to voluntary counseling andtesting services, very few Bangladeshi’s are aware of their HIV status(Bangladesh Serological Surveillance Survey 2006).TheRise of a generalized HIV epidemic would be a disaster that poverty-strickenBangladesh could not bear. It is estimated that without any intervention theprevalence in the general adult population could be as high as 2% in 2012 and8% by 2025 (World AIDS Day Report 2008) . According to the recent Children andAIDS, Third Stocktaking Report 2008 published by four UN agencies, only 16% ofgirls aged between 15 and 24 have a widespread knowledge of HIV in Bangladesh.There is a high level of misconception among youth (Baseline HIV Survey amongYouth in Bangladesh, 2005).
As adolescents andyoung adults comprise a significant proportion of the country’s population itis important that their awareness, knowledge and risk insights be assessed inorder to implement appropriate strategies. Few Studies have been conductedearlier to assess awareness and level of knowledge among medical and universitystudents of Bangladesh. But to our knowledge, so far no study focusingexclusively on school and college students has been reported. This study wastherefore conducted, to assess the knowledge, awareness and attitude among theschool and college students in Bangladesh.