Dzinamarira T, Dyk AV, Mashora MC and Maliwa V
Introduction: HIV currently remains a leading cause of adult morbidity and mortality in Namibia, which continues to have one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world. Namibia is experiencing one of the largest HIV epidemics in Africa with a reported national prevalence of 15.3%. Globally, young adults are considered to be most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, and therefore worth assessing the prevalence of HIV risk behavior in relation to the knowledge of the disease among this age group.
Methods: We used a cross-sectional study on a sample 385 young adults (18-35 years) attending the outpatients’ department at a referral hospital in Namibia. Relative importance index (RII) was used to describe the overall score for knowledge on HIV and risk perception, alcohol and drug use behavior, condom use behavior, health status for each study participant. The chi-square test and multiple regression analysis were employed for data analysis.
Results: The participants; 56% were females, the average age (SD) was 26.4 years (5.3), 9% were educated up to primary school only, 21% were unemployed while 38% were either students or intern, 56% reported residence in Windhoek urban area while 38% and 6% resided in Windhoek rural or other classification, 51% were of the Oshiwambo ethnicity while 49% were from other ethnical groupings, 52% were single while 26% and 18% were married and cohabiting respectively. There was a significant association between marital status and knowledge RII score while adjusting for other study variables, the odds of having knowledge RII score below median was 36% less in participants who are not single compared to those single (OR=0.36, p=0.012). There was boundary significant association between drug use RII score and knowledge RII score while adjusting for other study variables, the odds of having knowledge RII score below median was 1.95 times more in participants with drug use RII score below median (OR=1.95, p=0.067). There was no association between knowledge RII score with condom use and age at first sexual encounter (p>0.05).
Conclusion and Recommendations: Policy makers need to consider expansion of policies on HIV/AIDS awareness to include strategies beyond ensuring knowledge of disease.
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International Journal of Public Health and Safety received 165 citations as per Google Scholar report