Public Awareness and Stigmatizing Attitudes toward People Living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome in Saudi Arabia

Marwan J. Alwazzeh1, *
, Abdullah H. Kabbani1, Muhannad A. Alghamdi1, Khalid I. Alharbi1, Abdullah A. Qoqandi1, Abdulrazaq I. Alsomali1, Jose Ramon Fiore1, 2
1 Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Clinic of Infectious Diseases, University of Foggia, Foggia, Italy

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Creative Commons License
© 2023 Marwan Jabr Alwazzeh et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia; Tel: +966 554358861;
Fax: +966 13 8966741; E-mail:



Recently, there have been efforts to increase HIV/AIDS education and awareness programs to reduce the stigmatization and discrimination of people living with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (PLWHA). However, it is essential to understand that these efforts must be ongoing and sustained to be effective.


This study aimed to assess the Saudi population’s awareness and stigmatizing attitudes toward PLWHA.


This is a cross-sectional study on individuals (patients or families of patients) who attended “King Fahad Hospital of The University (KFHU)”. The study was conducted between September 1st and December 31st, 2018. Each participant provided informed consent, and data were collected through an informative, validated, anonymous, self-administrated questionnaire. The questionnaire was designed by experts and included all the data regarding demographic information, assessment of knowledge of HIV transmission, general awareness of HIV, assessment of attitudes toward PLWHA, etc. The collected data were analyzed using the SPSS version 22.


The majority of the participants were aware that HIV might be spread by receiving blood from an infected person, sharing a needle or syringe, and receiving organs from an infected person. There is a strong correlation between HIV transmission knowledge with age (p = 0.001), marital status (p = 0.001), an education level (p = 0.001), and economic status (p = 0.049). The study indicated negative stigmatizing attitudes toward PLWHA.


This study highlights significant public awareness gaps about HIV/AIDS and stigmatizing attitudes of the public toward HIV/AIDS.

Keywords: HIV, AIDS, Awareness, Attitude, Transmission, Stigmatization.