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Title: Effects of Education and Religion on Hiv Knowledge and Behaviour Modification of Women in the Tema Metropolis
Authors: Owusu, A.Y.
Fosu, A.K.
Antwi-Boasiako, G.S.
University of Ghana, College of Humanities, Development Studies
Issue Date: Dec-2015
Publisher: University of Ghana
Abstract: In 2012, about thirty-five million people worldwide were living with HIV and around 2.3 million people became infected with HIV within the same year (United Nations, 2012). Sub-Saharan Africa is more heavily affected by HIV than any other region of the world. An estimated 25 million people are living with HIV in the region―around two thirds of the global total. The HIV prevalence rate of 2 percent in 2008 rose to 4 percent in 2009 in the Tema metropolis, a suburb of the Greater Accra region, Ghana -- an HIV prevalence rate twice the national average(Tema Metropolitan Health directorate, 2010). By the third quarter of 2009, the number of people living with HIV (PLWH) was 2462 in the Tema Metropolis. Out of this number, females comprised 1704 (69.2%) and males, 758 (30.8%), an indication of women‘s high vulnerability to HIV relative to men. This study is based on a survey conducted in Tema Community One and Lashibi which employed the use of questionnaires to women to find out the effects of education and religion on HIV knowledge and behaviour modification. The study showed that there was a high correct knowledge about HIV among respondents. Majority of the respondents had first-hand information about HIV from the radio even before they learnt about the disease from school. Thus, the study revealed that the mass media has an important role to play in the efforts at HIV prevention. Correlation analysis conducted revealed that there was a relationship to some extent between education and behaviour change, and religion and behaviour modification with regards to HIV prevention. That is, religion and education are positively correlated with HIV knowledge and behaviour modification (defined broadly as adopting condoms, fidelity to a single partner, and sexual abstinence as a means to HIV prevention or forgoing risky sexual behaviours. However, when behaviour modification is defined narrowly as only adopting condom use as done globally by the World Bank, then education appears to have a stronger effect on behaviour modification than religion. Furthermore, logistic regression analysis conducted revealed that while education was a good predictor of behaviour change, religion was not a good predictor of behaviour change in terms of HIV prevention. Also, the study findings pointed to the fact that there may be other variables such as marital status, sex, cultural norms and values which influence behaviour change. Again, the study further revealed that a platform at which HIV is discussed among religious groups is not widespread. However, majority of the respondents’ sexual decisions had been influenced positively by their religious groups. Recommendations made from the study include the fact that, education on HIV should target individuals at the early stages of their lives since it is difficult to alter the behaviours of adults. Also, HIV education should not only aim at knowledge dissemination but behavioural change. Again, men should be educated on the benefits of the female condom to them which includes the fact that the female condom is less prone to breakage, its use does not require an erection and there is no need to withdraw immediately after ejaculating. Furthermore, efforts at exploiting the influence, strength and credibility of religious groups and leaders to shape social values with regards to sex and increase public knowledge about HIV and its prevention should be intensified.
Description: Thesis (MPhil) - University of Ghana, 2015
Appears in Collections:Development Studies

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