Understanding the slow pace of behavioral change in the face of HIV/AIDS in Uganda: Cross-sectional evidence from Kampala city survey

Gideon Rutaremwa, Makerere University

Uganda is often cited as a success story in the control of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa (WHO 2003). Despite significant strides registered in its efforts to enhance knowledge on HIV/AIDS, a significant knowledge-practice gap still exists. Attitudes, perceptions and beliefs held by individuals toward HIV/AIDS are an important element in the prevention and control of the epidemic. More recent studies have shown that the declining trend in HIV prevalence in Uganda is more consistent with changes in risk behavior than when compared to the natural epidemic progression. Using data from a cross sectional survey conducted in Kampala city in April 2003, we apply analysis procedures to examine whether respondent’s characteristics were associated with their beliefs and perceptions towards HIV/AIDS. The paper shows that though behavior change is lagging behind the HIV/AIDS awareness, individuals were limiting the number of sexual partners as a behavior strategy to avoid HIV/AIDS.

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Presented in Poster Session 2