The objective of this article is to assess the knowledge about HIV/aids in middle aged acquaintance group participants from the Vale do Sinos, Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. A prospective cross-sectional study with 168 individuals (9.5% male and 90.5% female) between 40 and 59 years of age was performed. A questionnaire comprising questions about the concept, transmission, vulnerability, prevention, and treatment domains on HIV issues was constructed. It was observed that 61.3% of the sample had finished elementary education and 45.2% had a monthly income ranging from 1 to 3 minimum wages. In the conceptual domain, 65.2% did not know that HIV infection has an asymptomatic phase and 34.5% believed HIV could be transmitted by a mosquito bite. In prevention and vulnerability domains, 19.5% had no knowledge about female condoms and 29.2% believed that the disease was confined to specific groups. Regarding to antiretroviral treatment, 12.5% had no idea about its existence. According to findings, middle aged participants from acquaintance groups in Vale do Sinos had misconceptions about HIV/aids which might enhance the risk of infection. Therefore it is necessary to provide public health programs directed to this population group in order to prevent or decrease the risk of HIV transmission.
HIV/aids; Middle aged; Knowledge