1 De Montfort University, School of Allied Health Sciences (UNITED KINGDOM)
2 Universidad de Alcalá, Departamento de Ciencias Biomédicas (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2017 Proceedings
Publication year: 2017
Pages: 7123-7127
ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2017.1902
Conference name: 10th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2017
Location: Seville, Spain
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) chemoprophylaxis includes pre- and post-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP/PEP). PrEP has been shown to be effective in preventing HIV for high risk groups such as men who have sex with men, discordant heterosexual couples and people who inject drugs. However, appropriate education is required to successfully use these prevention tools. Moreover, PrEP users should avoid risky behaviours that appear safe because of the PrEP regime. To increase awareness about HIV chemoprophylaxis, we have created a brief educational short course (3 hours) to discuss and study this important health topic with second year Medical Science (BMedSci) (Hons) students at De Montfort University (DMU, UK) in collaboration with the University of Alcalá (Spain). The BMedSci at DMU is a three-year, full time degree, which provides a knowledge of human anatomy and physiology, enables students to undertake research in form of a final year research project and facilitates their understanding of the causes and mechanisms of human disease. This degree prepares students for a wide range of possible careers including applying for medicine, undertaking further postgraduate study to become qualified health professionals or PhD study, or work in hospitals as project managers. DMU students enrolled in the level 5 module “Evidence Based Medicine” (n=41) completed a research-led workshop (2 hours) to identify interventions to reduce HIV infection rates in the Leicester community (including DMU students) following evidence-based public health methodology. Students were provided with the latest articles on HIV. Students designed their interventions in small groups and discussed them with the rest of the class. Prior to this short educational course, the students received a one hour lecture with up-to-date information about the HIV virus, infection routes and prevention (including HIV chemoprophylaxis), focussing on England and the UK Midlands (the UK region in which DMU is based). The current status about PrEP and the UK National Health Service (NHS) was also shown to encourage students’ reflection and discussion. A feedback questionnaire was distributed to evaluate this first attempt to learn HIV prevention and protection, and improve awareness about this important infectious disease. BMedSci students showed real interest in this topic, as indicated by the extensive discussions generated during the workshop. 85% of participants indicated understanding the necessity of a global intervention to fight HIV and 92% of students reported to have learnt how to establish public health interventions to reduce HIV transmission. Some degree of confusion was evident with the students regarding transmission routes for HIV and public resources available in the community for earlier diagnosis of infection. BMedSci students also showed a lack of knowledge of preventative measures (PrEP and PEP) and who should be HIV screened and when. We believe that further courses and/or training to increase HIV awareness are critical for these students as they are destined to work in the health sector. To overcome time limitations in this degree, we are developing a complete on-line unit about HIV which will be available through the DMU website later in 2018. The approach and materials described in this paper may be relevant to provide training to other students at DMU and other European universities to prevent HIV infections and improve and promote healthy sex behaviours.
HIV, chemical prophylaxis, PrEP, preventive education.