Project Title

BELIEFS AND KNOWLEDGE REGARDING HIV TRANSMISSION IN SWAZILAND: A Comparison Between the Sexes

Authors' Section

Sarah HawkinsFollow

Authors' Affiliations

Sarah E. Hawkins, MPH(c), Department of Community and Behavioral Health, College of Public Health, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tennessee

Location

Ballroom

Start Date

4-5-2018 8:00 AM

End Date

4-5-2018 12:00 PM

Poster Number

57

Name of Project's Faculty Sponsor

Megan Quinn, DrPH, M.Sc.

Faculty Sponsor's Department

Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology

Type

Poster: Competitive

Classification of First Author

Graduate Student-Master’s

Project's Category

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract Text

HIV infection persists in Swaziland with the highest prevalence of the disease globally – 1 in 4 Swazis aged 15-49 are HIV-positive. Women have a higher rate of infection than men (31.1% of women are HIV-positive, whereas 19.7% of men are HIV-positive). The difference in prevalence between the sexes raises some concerns, particularly due to the possibility of vertical transmission from mothers to infants because the average number of children ever born per woman is 2.28 for all women and 3.58 children for married women. This research aimed to determine if there was a significant difference regarding the knowledge and personal beliefs about HIV transmission between men and women. Obtaining correct knowledge regarding the transmission of HIV and where to get tested for HIV is vital to preventing further transmission of the disease. The Demographic and Health Surveys Program (DHS) gathered data in 2006-2007 to determine the baseline knowledge of individuals about the transmission of HIV. Comparisons of data collected from Swazi men (n = 4,156) and women (n = 4,987) concerning their knowledge and beliefs about HIV were made in order to obtain descriptive statistics, including chi-square to determine the presence or absence of significance (p-values) and percent differences between the sexes. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software was utilized to perform all statistical analyses using both the chi-square and percent difference functions. Data was weighted accordingly prior to analyses being run in SPSS. Questions regarding the individuals’ personal beliefs about the transmission of HIV were included on surveys for both sexes, specifically addressing the following: 1) the outward appearance of those who are HIV-positive (96.1% of women and 95.7% of men believed healthy-looking individuals can be infected with HIV; p = 0.336, % difference = 0.3999, χ2 = 0.926), 2) the role (or lack thereof) of mosquitoes in transmitting HIV (65.7% of women and 66.1% of men believed mosquitoes cannot transmit HIV; p = 0.688, % difference = 0.3999, χ2 = 0.161), 3) supernatural involvement in the transmission of HIV (92.3% of women and 91.7% of men believed supernatural means do not contribute to the spread of HIV; p = 0.292, % difference = 0.5999, χ2 = 1.112), 4) and the ability of HIV to be spread via food intake (82.2% of women and 82.3% of men believe they cannot becoming infected with HIV by sharing food with an HIV-positive individual; p = 0.901, % difference = 0.0999, χ2 = 0.016). Despite no statistically significant differences between the beliefs about HIV transmission held by both men and women, the data indicated only 51.9% of women and 51.4% of men possess comprehensively correct knowledge about the transmission of HIV. Furthermore, although 91.8% of women knew where to get tested for HIV, only 78.1% of men knew where to get tested for HIV. However, an encouraging 73.8% of women and 71.8% of men between the ages of 18 and 19 stated they believed adolescents between the ages of 12 and 14 should be taught proper condom use to prevent HIV infection. Comprehensive adolescent and adult sex education programs are indicated to ensure all adolescents and sexually active men and women possess correct knowledge about the transmission of HIV and where to seek assistance for HIV testing and treatment.

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Apr 5th, 8:00 AM Apr 5th, 12:00 PM

BELIEFS AND KNOWLEDGE REGARDING HIV TRANSMISSION IN SWAZILAND: A Comparison Between the Sexes

Ballroom

HIV infection persists in Swaziland with the highest prevalence of the disease globally – 1 in 4 Swazis aged 15-49 are HIV-positive. Women have a higher rate of infection than men (31.1% of women are HIV-positive, whereas 19.7% of men are HIV-positive). The difference in prevalence between the sexes raises some concerns, particularly due to the possibility of vertical transmission from mothers to infants because the average number of children ever born per woman is 2.28 for all women and 3.58 children for married women. This research aimed to determine if there was a significant difference regarding the knowledge and personal beliefs about HIV transmission between men and women. Obtaining correct knowledge regarding the transmission of HIV and where to get tested for HIV is vital to preventing further transmission of the disease. The Demographic and Health Surveys Program (DHS) gathered data in 2006-2007 to determine the baseline knowledge of individuals about the transmission of HIV. Comparisons of data collected from Swazi men (n = 4,156) and women (n = 4,987) concerning their knowledge and beliefs about HIV were made in order to obtain descriptive statistics, including chi-square to determine the presence or absence of significance (p-values) and percent differences between the sexes. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software was utilized to perform all statistical analyses using both the chi-square and percent difference functions. Data was weighted accordingly prior to analyses being run in SPSS. Questions regarding the individuals’ personal beliefs about the transmission of HIV were included on surveys for both sexes, specifically addressing the following: 1) the outward appearance of those who are HIV-positive (96.1% of women and 95.7% of men believed healthy-looking individuals can be infected with HIV; p = 0.336, % difference = 0.3999, χ2 = 0.926), 2) the role (or lack thereof) of mosquitoes in transmitting HIV (65.7% of women and 66.1% of men believed mosquitoes cannot transmit HIV; p = 0.688, % difference = 0.3999, χ2 = 0.161), 3) supernatural involvement in the transmission of HIV (92.3% of women and 91.7% of men believed supernatural means do not contribute to the spread of HIV; p = 0.292, % difference = 0.5999, χ2 = 1.112), 4) and the ability of HIV to be spread via food intake (82.2% of women and 82.3% of men believe they cannot becoming infected with HIV by sharing food with an HIV-positive individual; p = 0.901, % difference = 0.0999, χ2 = 0.016). Despite no statistically significant differences between the beliefs about HIV transmission held by both men and women, the data indicated only 51.9% of women and 51.4% of men possess comprehensively correct knowledge about the transmission of HIV. Furthermore, although 91.8% of women knew where to get tested for HIV, only 78.1% of men knew where to get tested for HIV. However, an encouraging 73.8% of women and 71.8% of men between the ages of 18 and 19 stated they believed adolescents between the ages of 12 and 14 should be taught proper condom use to prevent HIV infection. Comprehensive adolescent and adult sex education programs are indicated to ensure all adolescents and sexually active men and women possess correct knowledge about the transmission of HIV and where to seek assistance for HIV testing and treatment.