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AIDS Care. 2008 Aug;20(7):771-81. doi: 10.1080/09540120701660387.

Exploring HIV risk perception and behaviour in the context of antiretroviral treatment: results from a township household survey.

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School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa.


The objective of this cross-sectional household survey was to assess factors influencing HIV risk perception, behaviour and intervention uptake in a community characterised by high HIV prevalence and availability of antiretroviral therapy (ART). The survey was conducted in Khayelitsha, South Africa and involved two-stage sampling with self-weighting clusters and random selection of households within clusters. One man and woman between 14 and 49 years old was interviewed in each household; 696 men and 879 women were interviewed for a response rate of 84% and 92% respectively. Ninety-three percent and 94% were sexually active with median age of sexual debut 15.3 and 16.5 years. Eighty-three percent and 82% reported a partner at the time of interview and 29% and 8% had additional partner(s). Forty-one percent and 33% reported condom use during the last sexual encounter. Thirty-seven percent of men not using condoms did not as they believed their partner to be faithful, whilst 27% of women did not as their partner refused. Twenty-eight percent and 53% had been tested for HIV. Having undergone HIV testing was not associated with condom usage, whilst current relationship status was the strongest association with condom usage for both men and women. In spite of a relatively high uptake of condoms and testing as well as ART availability, the HIV epidemic has continued unabated in Khayelitsha. Even greater coverage of preventive interventions is required, together with a national social and political environment that builds on the availability of both preventive and treatment services.

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