BMC International Health and Human Rights
Persistent misconceptions about HIV transmission among males and females in Malawi
BMC International Health and Human RightsBMC series – open, inclusive and trusted201616:16
© The Author(s). 2016
Received: 3 August 2015
Accepted: 18 May 2016
Published: 7 June 2016
The prevalence of HIV in Malawi is one of the highest in sub-Saharan Africa, and misconceptions about its mode of transmission are considered a major contributor to the continued spread of the virus.
Using the 2010 Malawi Demographic and Health Survey, the current study explored factors associated with misconceptions about HIV transmission among males and females.
We found that higher levels of ABC prevention knowledge were associated with lower likelihood of endorsing misconceptions among females and males (OR = 0.85, p < 0.001; OR = 0.85, p < 0.001, respectively). Compared to those in the Northern region, both females and males in the Central (OR = 0.54, p < 0.001; OR = 0.53, p < 0.001, respectively) and Southern regions (OR = 0.49, p < 0.001; OR = 0.43, p < 0.001, respectively) were less likely to endorse misconceptions about HIV transmission. Moreover, marital status and ethnicity were significant predictors of HIV transmission misconceptions among females but not among males. Also, household wealth quintiles, education, religion, and urban–rural residence were significantly associated with endorsing misconceptions about HIV transmission.
Based on our findings, we recommend that education on HIV transmission in Malawi should integrate cultural and ethnic considerations of HIV/AIDS.
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