AIDS-related knowledge and sexual behaviour among married and previously married persons in rural Mozambique.
Noden, Bruce H.
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HIV prevalence in central Mozambique is the highest in the country with high urban rates impacting on the rural areas. To identify potential factors influencing the spread of HIV in three sparsely populated districts in southern Sofala province, 847 married and previously married persons were surveyed for their knowledge, practices and beliefs regarding HIV/AIDS and STIs. 21.9% and 6.5% of males and females, respectively, were engaged in casual sexual partnerships in the past year. Being male, married, educated, and having genital discharge and ulcers in the last year were significantly associated with risky sexual activity. Risky behaviour was significantly associated with being Catholic or Protestant when compared with those from Zionist churches. Knowledge of ABC prevention strategies and condom usage was significantly associated with being male, married, having an STI in the past year, and being educated, particularly at the secondary level (Grade 8+). Attitudes and behaviour were influenced by cultural and religious involvement, as well as sex and marital status. It is imperative that prevention strategies take into account the cultural, economic and religious conditions present in rural African settings to create HIV prevention programmes that are culturally relevant and acceptable to the participants.