Kinkese et al., 2017 Perceptions of HIV and AIDS Preventive Interventions and their Impact on Behavioural Change in Young People in Matero Township of Lusaka

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Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Infections, Sex-workers, Risk Behaviour, Zambia


Background: Zambia has been experiencing one of the most advanced and devastating Human Immunodeficiency Virus infection (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) epidemics in the world. Young people and sex workers have been identified as being at high risk of contracting HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections. Interventions have been designed to mitigate the epidemic, but their impact in some parts of Zambia is unknown. The study aim was to understand perceptions of HIV/AIDS preventive interventions in Matero of Lusaka town.

Methodology: This was a mixed method study design combining both quantitative and qualitative approaches. A total of 112 young people were selected using probability sampling and 22 adults sex workers purposively selected. A questionnaire was used to capture quantitative data while face to face interviews were held with young people and a focus group discussion with sex workers. Descriptive and inferential statistics using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences were used to analyse quantitative data while thematic content analysis using priori coding was done for qualitative data.

Results: A high level of awareness about HIV/AIDS interventions was found in 89% of young people at household level, and 96% of the commercial sex workers. However 64% of young people and 84% of the commercial sex workers never used a condom the first time they engaged in sexual intercourse. Some young people said they had sex due to peer pressure and a reward while commercial sex workers said that they exchanged sex for cash. Half (50%) of the young people had sex with more than three partners, and the majority of commercial sex workers (79%) had sex with three or more partners in the last 12 months.

Conclusion: Although awareness on the use of condoms was high, these preventive interventions seem not effective especially among sex workers.