OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

A pilot study of HIV/AIDS knowledge and behaviors among women who had recently given birth in in the Tygerberg Hospital in the Western Cape region of South Africa

TitleA pilot study of HIV/AIDS knowledge and behaviors among women who had recently given birth in in the Tygerberg Hospital in the Western Cape region of South Africa
Publication TypeThesis
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsWatanabe, Emi
Tertiary AuthorsRossignol, Anne
Academic DepartmentPublic Health
Thesis AdvisorRossignol, Anne
DegreeBA, International Studies in Public Health
Number of Pages42
Date Published09/2003
UniversityOregon State University
CityCorvallis
Thesis TypeUndergraduate
KeywordsAIDS, birth, HIV, public health, South Africa
Abstract

Women in South Africa are at increased risk of contracting HIV because of the combination of biological, social, cultural, and political reasons unique to this country. Despite the need for background information about the female population, which is crucial in designing effective HIV/AIDS education programs, few studies have been conducted that clearly represent the relationship between womern and HIV/AIDS in this country. This study, which targeted women of childbearing age in the Western Cape region, provides vital information about their knowledge, lifestyle behavior, beliefs and attitudes regarding HIV/AIDS.
Over 120 women, which gave birth during July, August, and September of 2002 at the Tygerberg Hospital, were interviewed about their knowledge, lifestyles behaviors, attitudes and beliefs regarding HIV/AIDS. The overall analysis of the data will help determine an effective plan of action needed to reduce HIV infection among women of childbearing age.
The data demonstrates that many of the study participants possessed at least partially accurate or some portions of the fundamental knowledge regarding HIV/AIDS, however, a variety of misconceptions seemed to exhist. The majority of the study participants which completed higher levels of schooling seemed to have more accurate information about the transmission modes of HIV, including the possible transmission of the virus from a mother to a child through breast milk.
Some possible sources of error notwithstanding, the study results clearly indicated that further education about HIV/AIDS is needed, especially about the transmission modes and the prevention methods of HIV. The desirable locations for the HIV/AIDS education programs for this sample population seemed to be clinics, schools, churches, and possibly TV. The study findings that provided insights into the study participants' lifestyles, attitudes and beliefs will also be helpful in planning culturally sensitive and socially appropriate HIV/AIDS educational curricula for women with similar backgrounds.