An estimated 1.2 million adults and adolescents are living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in the United States and approximately 50,000 are newly infected each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 44% of HIV- infected youth ages 18-24 are unaware of their HIV status. HIV destroys CD4 cells and leads to a severely weakened immune system, which increases the risk for infection and other infection-related cancers. If HIV is left untreated, the disease will eventually progress to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). HIV continues to be a concern in public health, yet the public perception about the severity of the HIV epidemic has declined in recent years. Although research suggests that college students are highly educated on modes of transmission for HIV, they continue to practice risky sexual behaviors that will increase their risk of HIV transmission. The researchers in this study utilized a descriptive, non-experimental, quantitative design to determine college students' knowledge regarding HIV and their willingness to be tested for HIV. The researchers used a modified version of the HIV-KQ-18 questionnaire. This questionnaire was passed out to students at the Campus Health Center. The questionnaire contained fivedemographic questions regarding age, sex, gender, and race. In addition, the questionnaire contained 18 knowledge-based questions. Lastly, two questions were included regarding the history of HIV testing and willingness to test for HIV. The population surveyed were college students over the age of 18 who attended the Campus Health Center in the southeastern United States. A convenience sample was utilized to obtain a sample of 38 students. Data analysis revealed that college age students were not knowledgeable of HIV. The average score on the knowledge-based questions was 71.49%, which was below the benchmark of 72.2% set by the researchers. When evaluating self-reported practices of the sample population, only 28.9% percent reported having been tested for HIV in the past, but 92.1 % percent reported being willing to be tested for HIV. Findings revealed a great need for further education regarding HIV knowledge and HIV testing among college students in the southeastern United States.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


First Advisor

Dr. Beth Turner

Second Advisor

Dr. Terri Hamill

Third Advisor

Dr. Sally Pearson

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons