Perception of risk of HIV/AIDS and sexual behavior in Kenya

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Author(s): Akwara PA, Madise NJ, Hinde A

Year: 2003

J Biosoc Sci 2003. 35:385-411.
The association between risk of HIV infection and sexual behavior remains poorly understood, though perception of risk is considered to be the first stage towards behavioral change from risk-taking to safer behavior. Authors used data from the 1998 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey to examine the direction and strength of the association between perceived risk of HIV/AIDS and risky sexual behavior in the 12 months before the survey. The findings indicate a strong positive association between perceived risk of HIV/AIDS and risky sexual behavior for both men and women. Controlling for sociodemographic, sexual exposure and knowledge factors such as age, marital status, education, work status, residence, ethnicity, source of AIDS information, specific knowledge of AIDS and condom use did not chnge the direction of the association. Young and unmarried men and women were more likely than older and married ones to report risky sexual behavior. Ethnicity was significantly associated with risky sexual behavior, suggesting a need to identify the contextual and social factors that influence behavior among Kenyan people.

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