HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes, perceptions and risky sexual behaviour of women in Lobatse Botswana

Onyango, Robert David (2011-03)

Thesis (MPhil (Industrial Psychology. Africa Centre for HIV/AIDS Management))--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: HIV/AIDS has become a global concern and the considerable and disproportionate impact of the disease on women in Botswana, as elsewhere in Africa, has reached a stage where it threatens the social and economic well being of the human society. Therefore this study undertook to examine the levels of HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes, behaviour and practices among women in Lobatse, Botswana by interviewing 145 women through questionnaires. The findings generated from the study suggesting that although the vast majority of respondents are aware of HIV/AIDS and the principal modes of transmission some aspects of their sexual lifestyles, practices and perceptions remain a cause for concern. A good number of the respondents believe that medical solutions exist to the problem of HIV/AIDS. These kinds of misconceptions are certainly a cause for concern. The age at first sexual intercourse is relatively young and this can be explained by the cultural and social norms in the community. Condom use is reportedly inconsistent and low, a contradiction with the observed knowledge levels, only confirming further that knowledge does not necessarily translate into action. Respondents also reported tendencies towards discriminatory practices and attitudes against people infected with HIV/AIDS. This may be a contributory factor leading people to shy away from knowing their status and preferring not to tell anyone in case they know. This calls for more educational interventions, to demystify the disease and curb the arising stigma. The findings also confirm that whereas a lot of effort has been put in information and education, the more difficult and urgent attention should be in translating the knowledge and information into the required behaviour change if we are to win the war against HIV/AIDS.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: MIV/VIGS het ‘n wêreldwye kommer geword en die aansienlike en oneweredige impak van die siekte op vroue in Botswana, soos elders in Afrika, het ‘n stadium bereik waar dit die maatskaplike en ekonomiese welsyn van die menslike samelewing bedreig. Hierdie studie word dus onderneem om die vlakke van MIV/VIGS kennis, houdings, gedrag en praktyke onder vroue in Lobatse, Botswana, te ondersoek deur onderhoude met 145 vroue te voer, deur middel van vraelyste. Die bevindinge verkry uit hierdie studie, dui daarop dat, alhoewel die oorgrote meerderheid van die respondente bewus is van MIV/VIGS en die vernaamste maniere van oordrag van die siekte, hulle lewenstyl, gewoontes en insig steeds ‘n bron van kommer bly. ‘n Groot aantal respondente glo dat mediese oplossings bestaan vir die probleem van MIV/VIGS. Hierdie soort wanopvattings is beslis ‘n rede tot kommer. Die ouderdom by eerste seksuele omgang is redelik jonk en kan toegekryf word aan kulterele en sosiale standaarde. Die gebruik van kondome is volgens wat berig word, laag en teenstrydig met die kennisvlakke wat waargeneem is. Dit bevestig net weer dat kennis nie noodwendig voortvloei in gedrag nie. Respondente het neigings getoon tot diskriminerende praktyke en houdings teenoor mense wat geinfekteer is met MIV/VIGS. Dit kan ‘n bydraende faktor wees wat daartoe lei dat mense nie hulle status wil weet nie en as hulle weet, hulle dit nie wil bekend maak nie. Dit vereis meer opvoedkundige ingrypings om die raaiselagtigheid van die siekte en die ontstaan van stigma te bekamp. Alhoewel daar baie moeite gedoen word om inligting en opvoeding aan mense te gee, moet daar meer aandag gegee word aan hoe om die kennis en inligting te omskep in gedragsverandering, as ons die oorlog teen MIV/VIGS wil wen.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/6763
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