Author(s): Lagarde E, Enel C, Seck K, GueyeNdiaye A, Piau JP,
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: To describe the association between religion and factors related to sexually transmitted diseases (STD)/AIDS in a country where religious leaders were involved early in prevention. DESIGN: A cross-sectional study conducted in a rural area in central Senegal. METHODS: Questionnaire-based interviews of a random sample of 858 adults from the general population aged 15-59 years and in-depth interviews of four religious leaders and 50 people. RESULTS: Seventy-six per cent of the respondents were Muslim, 24\% Catholic, 1\% Animist and 0.2\% Protestant. A total of 86\% of men and 87\% of women reported religion to be very important to them. Important prevention-related variables were inversely associated with the importance of religion. Men who considered religion to be very important were less likely to cite AIDS as a major health problem [odds ratio (OR) 0.4, P = 0.008] and were less likely to feel at risk of getting HIV (OR 0.5, P = 0.0005). Women who considered religion to be very important were less likely to report an intention to change to protect themselves from AIDS (OR 0.2, P = 0.0001), less likely to report having discussed AIDS with others (OR 0.4, P = 0.01) and much more likely to feel at risk of getting HIV (OR 9.3, P = 10(-4)). Individuals who considered religion to be very important were not more likely to report intending to or actually having become faithful to protect themselves from AIDS. CONCLUSION: These findings stress the need to intensify the involvement of religious authorities in HIV/STD prevention at the local level.
This article was published in AIDS
and referenced in Journal of Pharmaceutical Care & Health Systems