Condom Use for Preventing HIV Infection/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Comparative Multilevel Analysis of Uganda and Tanzania
January 6, 2004
Unprotected sex remains the primary mode of HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa, according to the current study. The authors examined the influence of community-level factors, including health care programs and services, on condom use to prevent HIV infection among men and women in Uganda and Tanzania, countries where other studies have shown improvement in HIV/AIDS knowledge and changes in risky sexual behaviors.
Persons living in clusters with higher indicators of development -- like phone and postal service -- were more likely to use condoms to prevent HIV. Condom use was more prevalent in areas with nearby (0-5 km) health care services. Condom use was more common among women (but not among men) who lived in clusters where HIV/AIDS counseling, testing, and treatment were available.
The level of education had a positive effect on condom use for women and men, while marriage had a negative effect on condom use except for men in Tanzania. "Condom use was also found to be lower among Christian women in Uganda and Christian men in Tanzania. The older the women and men, the less likely they were to use condoms in Uganda and Tanzania, while the more children Tanzanian men had, the more likely they were to use condoms," the authors observed. "Level of education was shown to be effective in changing risky sexual behavior, as it serves as a socialization agent by helping women and men to accept modern thinking and seek information that will help them change their sexual behavior. Low levels of condom use among married women indicate how vulnerable they are to HIV infection."
The authors noted, "The negative effect of Christian religion on condom use points to the need for engagement of the religious leaders in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Opposition to condom use and condom promotion has been reported in Uganda and Kenya, especially among Roman Catholic groups."
Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes
10.01.03; Vol. 34; No. 2: P. 203-213; Festus A. Ukwuani, Ph.D.; Amy O. Tsui, Ph.D.; Chirayath M. Suchindran, Ph.D.
This article was provided by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update. Visit the CDC's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.