Introduction Despite remarkable world-wide progress in the field of diagnostic, curative and preventive medicine, still there are large populations of people living in isolation in natural and unpolluted surroundings far away from civilisation, maintaining their traditional values, customs, beliefs and myths. They are commonly known as tribes and are considered to be the indigenous people of the land. This study aimed to assess HIV-related knowledge, attitudes and practices among Malayali tribes,Yelagiri Hills, Tamil Nadu, India.
Methods A cross-sectional study on Malayali tribes aged between 20 and 30 years old was undertaken to evaluate their KAPs. We selected 200 eligible samples through systematic random sampling from different villages of Yelagiri Hills.
Results The majority of the population was unaware of HIV (49%). Of the population who were aware 59% knew that it can be transmitted by sexual intercourse and 88% from mother to child. Misconceptions about transmission of HIV were observed among 39.3% to 44.3% of respondents. More 75% mentioned village health workers as major sources of information on HIV/AIDS.
Conclusions Despite adequate knowledge about HIV/AIDS, misconceptions about routes of transmission were found. Negative attitudes to HIV/AIDS and risky practices were also present. Educational programmes with specific interventions are recommended to increase KAPs and to prevent new HIV infections among this population. It was recommended to increase KAPs and to prevent new HIV infections among this population.