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Socio-demographic study of HIV/AIDS related knowledge, attitudes and sexual behaviour: patients from South-India

Kattumuri, Ruth (2008) Socio-demographic study of HIV/AIDS related knowledge, attitudes and sexual behaviour: patients from South-India. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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This study investigates HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes, behaviours and practices among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). A hospital-based survey of (n=292) PLWHA in Tamil Nadu, using both quantitative and qualitative techniques, was the first of its kind to be conducted in India in 1999. The study represents a contribution to knowledge, being one of very few studies of PLWHA in India. The main sources of reported HIV knowledge among PLWHA were discussions with peers, community members, other hospital patients, and friends, for both men and women (80% and 79%, respectively). Latent class analysis of correct knowledge showed that 76% of respondents had high knowledge of sex-related transmission and 86% had high knowledge of blood-related transmission. Education was an important predictor of knowledge for women. Contrary to socio-cultural norms, ever-married male respondents reported relatively high levels of premarital sex (80%) and extra marital sex (49%). This study examined reported behaviour changes post-diagnosis with a positive prevention focus, including condom use. A large majority of PLWHA had heard about condoms (94% men, 81% women) and their use as a prophylaxis for HIV/AIDS. However, only 35% of men (excluding high-risk occupation groups) reported ever-use of condoms. Qualitative evidence revealed that reported consistent condom use did not, in fact, mean every single time they had sex. Culture was intricately interwoven with attitudes and behaviours reported by PLWHA and experiential knowledge influenced attitudes towards possible behaviour change. This research suggests the need to shift HIV/AIDS prevention models from biomedical to models more closely situated in their socio-economic and cultural context. In particular, behaviour change communication (BCC) models for positive prevention in India.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Sociology, Social Structure and Development, South Asian Studies, Health Sciences, Public Health
Sets: Collections > ProQuest Etheses

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