HIV/AIDS knowledge and attitudes amongst pharmacists in Zimbabwe
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Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection and the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) pose a serious threat to the health of persons living in developing countries as well as impacting on each nation’s economy through lost man-hours and depletion of the skilled workforce.1 This is particularly true in Southern Africa with an estimated prevalence of HIV of around 20 to 25% in adults.2 HIV/AlDS is associated with social stigma both in developed and developing countries, a factor which can impact on the attitudes of health care workers to HIV/ AIDS patients as well as the quality of care provided.3 Pharmacists are important members of the health care team involved in drug supply and provision of both medication- related and purely health information. For this role to achieve its full potential with regard to HIV/AIDS, pharmacists need to be sound in their knowledge of the disease and free of misconceptions about AIDS patients. Whilst the attitudes of pharmacists and pharmacy students have been examined in the USA,4’5 no work has been done with this health professional in developing countries, specifically Zimbabwe, where the epidemiology of HIV infection is very different and access to information limited. This descriptive study investigated the HIV/AIDS knowledge and attitudes of pharmacists and pharmacy students in Zimbabwe which could impact on educational policies for the profession.