We administered a questionnaire pertaining to recent gains in knowledge about HIV/AIDS treatment and natural history in mid-1990 to all physicians and nurses at a 455-bed public teaching hospital. Surveys were returned by 127 physicians (46%) and 541 nurses (77%). Responses indicated that only 37% of physicians and 18% of nurses knew that the risk for an AIDS-related opportunistic infection becomes significant when the T-helper cell count falls below 200 cells per cubic millimeter. One-fourth of physicians (23%) and more than one-half of nurses (55%) were not aware that the HIV enzyme immunoassay test alone is insufficient to properly determine a patient's HIV serostatus. The survey results revealed a broad deficit in knowledge about the natural history and treatment of HIV infection and demonstrated the need for a clinically relevant core HIV/AIDS knowledge curriculum and for strategies to better educate health care providers to improve care given to HIV-infected patients.
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|Published - Feb 1993