Factors Influencing Attitudes towards People Living with HIV/AIDS in Zambia: Does HIV Testing Matter?
|Namuunda Mutombo* and Beatrice Maina|
|African Population and Health Research Center, Nairobi, Kenya|
|Corresponding Author :||Namuunda Mutombo
African Population and Health Research Center
APHRC Campus, P.O Box 10787, 00100, Nairobi, Kenya
E-mail: [email protected]
|Received October 21, 2014; Accepted January 03, 2015; Published January 07, 2015|
|Citation: Mutombo N, Maina B (2015) Factors Influencing Attitudes towards People Living with HIV/AIDS in Zambia: Does HIV Testing Matter? J Infect Dis Ther 3:197. doi:10.4172/2332-0877.1000197|
|Copyright: © 2015 Mutombo N, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.|
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Background: In spite of the increase in the number of people testing for HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWH) remains one of the major obstacles in the fight against HIV/AIDS. This paper examines the factors that influence HIV testing in Zambia and looks into detail whether testing for HIV reduces stigma and discrimination against PLWH.
Methods: The data used in this paper were drawn from the 2005 Zambia Sexual Behaviour Survey conducted by MEASURE Evaluation and the Central Statistical Office, Zambia. This is a nationally representative survey whose main objective is to obtain national estimates on a number of key indicators important for monitoring progress of the national HIV/AIDS/STDs programme. The study was conducted among women aged 15-49 years and among men aged 15-59. Our analysis is based on 3,982 men and women aged 15-49 years.
Results: Results show that HIV testing is not the most significant factor in inculcating tolerant attitudes towards PLWH. The most influential factors are level of education and knowledge of HIV/AIDS. Multivariate results also show that respondents who are young, from Nyanja-speaking ethnic groups, with low HIV/AIDS knowledge levels, less than secondary education, and those with high risk sexual behaviour had lower odd-logs of having more than less tolerant attitudes towards PLWH. On the other hand, health workers and those from Region 1, and males who had ever tested for HIV had higher odd-logs of having more than less tolerant attitudes towards PLWH.
Conclusions: This paper demonstrates that HIV testing alone is not the most influential factor towards achievement of positive attitudes towards PLWH. Ideally, apart from learning about one’s status, a person who has undergone the counselling process during testing should also have more tolerant attitudes towards people infected with HIV. Therefore, there is need to ensure that counselling is emphasised before and after testing for HIV in order to change attitudes towards PLWH.