Socio-Cultural Factors Influencing Early Diagnosis and Prevention of HIV Among Women of Reproductive Age in South western Nigeria

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Authors : Adebimpe Wasiu Olalekan



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 Southwestern Nigeria


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 reproductive age


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