Culture and social status are key determinate of
attitude and behaviour towards prevention and control of many diseases of
Public health importance including HIV.
This study determines socio-cultural barriers to
early diagnosis and prevention of HIV among women of reproductive age in
Descriptive cross sectional qualitative study among
women of reproductive age group and health care givers concerning socio and
cultural factors influencing diagnosis and prevention of HIV. Five Focus Group Discussions
(FGD) of 8 eligible respondents each were conducted using a pretested FGD guide
in collecting data from the randomly selected subjects. Data was analyzed using
simple content analysis.
Cultural and social factors influencing HIV
vulnerability and transmission identified include low education status, poor
awareness among women, low employment and economic power, adverse religious
beliefs and practices, reluctance to accept teaching of FLHE in schools and the
public, stigma and discrimination even from the health care workers affecting
health seeking behaviour. Other factors include polygamy, male dominance, low
decision power and value of women, remarrying after divorce, widowhood rights,
wife inheritance and sharing, early marriage, and some cultural breastfeeding
practices encouraging HIV transmission
Raising community awareness by traditional, cultural
and religious gatekeepers becomes imperative to circumvent many of the
identified social and cultural factors constituting barriers and influencing
HIV diagnosis and prevention
Socio-cultural factors, HIV, STIs, women of
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