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AIDS Care. 2006 Jul;18(5):514-9.

Qualitative changes in AIDS preventative attitudes in a rural Senegalese population.

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  • 1Conseil National de Lutte contre le SIDA, Dakar, Sénégal.


Recent changes in knowledge and attitudes towards AIDS in a rural population of Senegal were assessed comparing two cross-sectional studies conducted six years apart (1997 and 2003). Random samples of 866 and 709 adults aged 15-59 were included. Sociodemographic characteristics of the two population samples were very similar. The proportion of those who estimated their personal risk of being infected by HIV as high or very high fell from 49.1% in 1997 to 17.2% in 2003. The proportion of those who reported having already changed their behaviour to protect themselves from AIDS fell from 56.3% to 24.9%. Methods cited as protection against HIV changed over the period. Fidelity and/or partner selection was cited by 93% of respondents in 1997 and 58% in 2003 when suspicion of potentially soiled materials appeared. Finally, attitudes towards persons living with HIV or AIDS (PLWHA) in 2003 were ambivalent: while 73.9% thought that a PLWHA should not be allowed to mix with other villagers, 65.1% would be ready to provide care to a PLWHA. Drastic changes in attitudes towards the AIDS threat could be identified over the period. AIDS preventive attitudes measured in 1997 were not sustained in 2003, while stigmatization of PLWHA was very widespread.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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