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Int J STD AIDS. 2000 Jan;11(1):21-6.

Going underground and going after women: trends in sexual risk behaviour among gold miners in South Africa.

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  • 1Research Division, Population Services International, Washington, DC 20036, USA. dmeekers@psiwash.org

Abstract

This paper examines trends in risk behaviour among South African gold miners, a population with an estimated HIV prevalence of 10-20%. The study is based on a 1995 and 1997 survey of a random sample gold miners in the town of Welkom, South Africa. The results show that the percentage of miners who perceived they were likely to contract HIV increased from 33% in 1995 to 35% in 1997 (P<0.01). The percentage who had 4 or more partners in the past year decreased from 25% to 13% (P < 0.01), and the percentage whose last sexual partner was their spouse increased from 56% to 70% (P<0.01). Condom use in last intercourse with a spouse increased from 18% to 26% (P < 0.05). Condom use with other partners was considerably higher (67%), but did not increase significantly from 1995. The most likely contributors to this behaviour change were the AIDS awareness programmes implemented by the mining industry and the behaviour change communications of a condom social marketing campaign targeted at miners and commercial sex workers in the mining community.

PIP:

This paper uses data from a 1995 survey of gold miners in the Welkom area and a 1997 follow-up survey to examine trends in HIV/AIDS knowledge, risk perception, sexual risk behavior, and condom use among gold miners in South Africa. Findings showed that the percentage of gold miners who believed that they were likely to get infected with HIV increased significantly from 22% in 1995 to 35% in 1997. The data likewise showed reduction in sexual activity with casual partners and commercial sex workers, and a decrease in the number of sex partners. Condom use during the last sexual contact with a spouse increased from 18% to 26%. Although condom use with other partners was high, the number did not significantly increase between 1995 and 1997. In conclusion, there is substantial evidence of an increased awareness of the personal risk of acquiring HIV/AIDS, with less risky sexual behavior and increased condom use. These changes are most likely due to the AIDS awareness programs implemented by the mining industry and the behavior changes resulting from condom social marketing campaigns specifically targeted at miners and commercial sex workers in the mining community.

PMID:
10667896
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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