Why Disparity in HIV/AIDS-Related Knowledge in Sub-Saharan Africa: Selectivity in Reporting or Receiving?

Zewdu Woubalem, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)
Alex Ezeh, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)

Using DHS data from a number of sub-Saharan African countries and employing multivariate analyses, this paper examines disparity in knowledge of two important HIV/AIDS-related issues--mother-to-child transmission and whether condoms offer protection against HIV infection. Modes of HIV transmission and risk factors associated with HIV infection have been identified two decades ago. Since then HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns have been disseminating these information. However, univariate analyses show remarkable differences in knowledge of these two issues. Given the centrality of these two factors in the fight against the epidemic, one would expect little difference in reported knowledge of both factors. However, the glaring gap in knowledge of the two factors raises a number of questions: Why have respondents selectively retained/received one kind of knowledge over the other? Do women tend not to report accurately about use of condoms? Understanding the reasons for such disparities will help us in modifying AIDS education strategies.

Presented in Session 19: Reproductive Health in Developing Countries I