Knowledge about HIV/AIDS is essential for facilitating safer sexual behaviour hence, it is important in controlling HIV. Therefore, in the absence of a cure for the pandemic, adequate knowledge about the virus remains the backbone of prevention efforts.


To assess the knowledge regarding HIV/AIDS among undergraduate students at a rural university in Limpopo Province, South Africa.


A cross-sectional descriptive quantitative survey-based study was conducted at a rural-based university in South Africa. Stratified random sampling was used to select 345 students. A self-administered questionnaire composed of 26 questions was utilised to gather data and the data were analysed using SPSS version 26. Multiple logistic regression and chi-square tests [χ2] were employed to determine the association between HIV/AIDS knowledge and demographic variables.


The overall HIV/AIDS knowledge score of students shows that (74)21% had a poor level of knowledge, (126)37% had average knowledge, and (145)42% had adequate knowledge. There was no significant difference between male and female students regarding their knowledge about HIV/AIDS. Factors, such as age, level of study, the field of study, and religion, were not significantly associated with HIV/AIDS knowledge. However, the race was significantly associated with knowledge with coloureds and mixed races, almost six times less knowledgeable than blacks.


In conclusion, students had inadequate knowledge about HIV/AIDS. Misconceptions about HIV/AIDS facts, transmission routes, and prevention aspects were also prevalent among students. The present study accentuates the need for providing students with more HIV/AIDS education to fill HIV knowledge gaps and misconceptions.

Keywords: Knowledge, HIV/AIDS, Students, University, Infections, Public health.
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