Avoiding Unwanted Pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infections: A Rural Malawi District Study
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Author(s): Center for Social Research, Malawi Ministry of Health and Population, Save the Children Federation USA, MEASURE Evaluation
The Pregnancy and Sexually Transmitted Infection Avoidance Study was conducted in the rural Mangochi district of Malawi from 2000 to 2002 to assess the levels of perceived risk for unwanted pregnancy and STIs and the relationship between perceived risk and sexual activity and avoidance behaviors. This 136-page study presents the following results and also provides implications for future efforts to control the spread of HIV/AIDS and other STIs: Fertility demand remained high, with a reported ideal family size of four children. Roughly one-fifth of couples were using some form of contraception, most often injectable and periodic abstience. Most men and women knew that abstience and condom use are means to avoid HIV infection, but neither men nor women were likely to use either of these methods. For both HIV and other STIs, women and men were most likely to report friends and relatives as their first source of information. Most women and men were likely to cite no barriers to STI and HIV treatment. Men are more aware of STI and HIV risk than women.