Sexual activity, knowledge about HIV/AIDS and willingness to test for HIV among young people in Botswana
Botswana has an HIV prevalence rate of 38.8 percent, the highest in the world (UNAIDS, 2004).This study identifies factors that explain three important issues in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Botswana. These issues are sexual activity, knowledge about HIV/AIDS, and willingness to test for HIV infection among young people (12-23 years old).
The data were collected using a 76 item self-administered questionnaire, which solicited information on demographic and background characteristics of respondents, the extent of their sexual activity, their knowledge about HIV/AIDS, and their willingness to test for HIV infection. The questionnaire was completed by 1294 students from a national sample of 84 educational institutions including (1) community junior secondary schools, (2) senior secondary schools, and (3) rural and urban post-secondary institutions.
The study found sexual activity among students to be associated with rural residence, low socio-economic status, and having parents who are unemployed. Further, the findings indicate that family cohesion and the
stability of the home environment for children are associated with sexual activity in young people. The study also reported that girls were more willing to test than boys, and students from more privileged backgrounds
were more willing to test than those from less privileged households.
This analysis concludes that the problems of sexual activity and willingness to test for HIV among youth in Botswana are part of a general problem of poor familial relationships, lack of family cohesion and stability of the home environment for children, and poor psychological development.
Aggleton, P. (1996). Global Priorities for HIV/AIDS
Intervention Research. International Journal of STD & AIDS, 7(Suppl. 2): 13-16.
Agrawul, H.K., Rao, R.S., Chandrashckar, S. & Coultor J.B. (1999). Knowledge of and attitude to HIV/AIDS of senior secondary school pupils and trainee teachers in Udupi District, Karnataka. India. Annuals of Tropical Pediatrics,19:143—149.
Al-Ansari, J., Honkala, E., & Sisko Honkala, S. (2003).
Oral health knowledge and behavior among male health sciences college students in Kuwait. BMC Oral Health. 2003; 3 (1): 2
Alemu, S., Abseno, N., Degu, G., Wondntikn, Y., & Yared, W., Amsalau, S. (2004). Knowledge and attitude towards voluntary counseling and testing for HIV: A community based study in northwest Ethiopia. Ethiopian Journal of Health Development. 18(2): 82—89.
Alene, G. D. (2002). Knowledge and Practice of Condom in Preventing HIV/AIDS Among Commercial sex workers in 3 Small Towns of North Western Ethiopia.
American Academy of Pediatrics, Conunittee on Adolescence. (1999). Adolescent Pregnancy—Current trends and issues: 1998. Pediatrics, 103, 516-520.
Anarfi, J.K. (1997: Vulnerability to Sexually Transmitted Disease: street children in Accra in Ntozi, P.M, Anarfi, J. K, Caldwell, J.C and Jain, S. (eds) Health Transition Review Vulnerability to HIV infection and effects of Aids in Africa and Asia /India AVERT.(2005). HIV & AIDS in Botswana. February 7, 2005. (http://www.avert.orz/aidsbotswsna.htm.) (accessed 18 May 2005).
Ball, A. (1996). “The social and cultural construction of sexual risk by youth in Botswana”. Unpublished Thesis, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg.
Bingham. C. L, & Crockett, L. J. (1996). Longitudinal adjustment patterns of boys and girls experiencing early, middle, and late sexual intercourse. Developmental Psychology, 32, 647-658.
Bond. L., Lauby, B., & Batzon, H. (2005). HIV testing
and the role of individual- and structural-level barriers and facilitators. AIDS Care. 17(2): 125-140.
Botswana Family Welfare Association. (1996). “Sexual and reproductive health centre: Vision 2000”. IPPF.Gaborone.
Botswana National HIV/AIDS Assessment for the Strategic Plan; 2003-2009
Caprara, A., Seri, D. De Gregorio G.C., Parenzi A.,Salazar C.M., & Ooze, T. (1993) The perception of AIDS in the Bete and Baoule of the Ivory Coast. International Course for
Primary Health Care Managers, Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Rome, Italy.
Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development. (1995). Great transitions: Preparing adolescents for the new century. Washington DC.
Casper, L. M. (1990). Does family interaction prevent adolescent pregnancy? Family Planning Perspectives, 22, 109-114.
Cobb, N. (1998). Adolescence: continuity, change and diversity. Mountain View. CA: Mayfield.
Doohlie, E & M.shwabi, M.M. (1998) Men and AIDS; Addressing Male Sexuality. Ministry of Health; Gaborone.
Dorman, R., & Perkins, S. (1996). The Effects of Social Disadvantage. Newsletter (2002)
Ekanem, E.E. & Gbadegesin, A. (2004). Voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) for human immunodeficiency virus: a study on acceptability by Nigerian women attending antenatal clinics. African Journal of Reproductive Health, 8(2): 9 1-100.
Fako, T.T., & Linn, J.G. (2003). Reflections on Psychological, Social and Economic Implications of HIV and AIDS in Botswana. The Journal of Management Studies, Vol.18 (2)
Fako, T.T., Linn, J.G., Ntseane, D., & Molebatsi, R. M. (2003). The family common residence and behaviors that contribute to the spread of HIV and AIDS in Botswana. The Journal of Management Studies, 18(2): 1-22.
Fawole, 1.0., Asuzu, M.C., Oduntan, S.Q., & Brieger,
W.R (1999). A school-based AIDS education programme for secondary school students in Nigeria: a review of effectiveness.
Freeman, R, Maizels, I., Wylli; M., & Sheiham, A.
(1993). The relationship between health related knowledge, attitudes and dental health behaviors in 14-16-year-old adolescents. Community Dent Health. 1993 Dec;10(4):397-404
Gage, A.J. & Ali, D. (2005). Factors associated with self reported HIV testing among men in Uganda. AIDS Care. 17(2): 153-165.
Garland, M. Maggwa, B.N, Mati J.K., Kihoro, J., Mbugua, S., Achola, P., & Hunter, D.J (1993). Knowledge of AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases among women attending a family planning clinic in Nairobi, Kenya. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 9, 1 62-64
Gwatkin, D. & Deveshwar - Bahl, G. (2001). Inequalities in Knowledge of HIV/AIDS Prevention: An Overview of Socio-Econoniic and Gender Differentials in Developing Countries. Publisher: World Bank.
Hamel, M.J., Odhacha, A., Roberts, J.M., & Deming, M.S. (2001). Malaria control in Bungoma District, Kenya: a survey of home treatment of children with fever, bed net use and attendance at antenatal clinics. Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 79 (11): 1014-23
Hollander, D. (1996). Nonmarital childbearing in the United States: A governmental report. Family Planning Perspectives, 41, 28-32.
Huffman S.L., & Combest, C. (1990) Role of Breast Feeding in the Treatment of Diarrhea Dis Res 1990 Sep; 8(3); 68-81
Itshekeng, E.M. (2002). The Role of Family Background on HIV/AIDS Awareness and Condom Use among Secondary School Students in Selibe-pbikwe, Botswana.
Jack, A.D. (1999) A study on knowledge, attitude and behavioral aspects of HIV/AIDS among students of the University of Botswana. University of Botswana Gaborone.
Jack, A.D., Seloilwe, B., Mokoto, M., Letshabok K., Veskov, D., Kobue, M., Bainazne, K., & Muzila, R. et al. (1999). “A study of knowledge, attitudes and behavioral aspects of HIV/AIDS among students of the University of Botswana.” Gaborone.
Jackson, H. (2002). AIDS Africa: Continent in Crisis.
Harare, Zimbabwe: SAfAIDS.
Kaplan, P. S. (1998). The Human Odyssey Life-Span Development. Pacific Grove: Brooks/Cole Publishing.
Khan, M. A., (2002). Knowledge on AJDS among Female Adolescents in Bsngladesh: Evidence from the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey Data. J HEALTH
Kinirons, M., & Stewart C., (1998). Adolescents' knowledge of common foods and drinks and the importance of the pattern of consumption: a study undertaken in an area of high dental needs. Community Dent Health. 1998 Sep; 15(3): 175-8.
Kiragu, K. (2001) Youth and HIV/AIDS: Can we avoid catastrophe? Population Reports, Series L, No. 12, Baltimore, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Population Information Program, Fall 2001.
Kumar A; Lal P; Ingle GK; Gulati N; Avdhesh Kumar Panna Lal; & Neena Gulati (1996) Does knowledge influence practices related to HIV transmission. Indian Journal of
Sexually Transmitted Diseases. 1996 July-Dec; 17(2):73-5
Lammers, S., Ireland, M., Resnick. M., & Blum, R. (2000) Influences on adolescents’ decision to postpone onset of sexual intercourse: A survival analysis of virginity among youth aged 13 - 18 years. Journal of Adolescent Health 26(1). 42—48.
Leo, K., Cheung. W.T., Kwong. V.S.C., Wan, W.Y., & Lee, S.S. (2005). Acces to appropriate information on HIV is important in maximizing the acceptance of the antenatal HIV antibody test. AIDS Care. 17(2): 141-152.
Magnum, J.R., Karim, A.M., Weiss, L.A., Bond, K.C., Lemba, M,. Morgan T.G. (2000) Mbanya, D.N., Zebaze,R., Kengne, A.P., Minkoulou, EM., Awah, P., & Beure, (2004). Knowledge, attitudes and practices of nursing staff in a rural hospital of Cameroon; how much does the health care provider know about the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome?’ International Journal of Nursing Practice. 2004 10(1):32-8.
Meschke, L. L., & Silbereisen, R. K. (1997). The influence of puberty, family processes, and leisure activities on the timing of first sexual experience. Journal of Adolescent Research. 20,403-418.
Middleton, R., (1998). Health Related Knowledge and Sources of Health Information amongst Students in an Urban Area of Botswana.
Miller, B. C., McCoy, J. K., & Olson, T. D. (1986).
Dating age and stages as correlates of adolescent sexual attitudes and behavior. Journal of Adolescent Research, 1, 361-371.
Ministry of Education (1989,2002) Canadian Youth, Sexual Health and HIV/AIDS Study.
Neupane, S., Nichols, D., & Thapa, S., (2003) Knowledge and Beliefs about HIV/AIDS among young People in Urban Nepal Asia Pacific Population Journal, 18(4):39-52
Odirile, LW (2000). 2000 HIV/AIDS: Knowledge, attitude end beliefs among University of Botswana undergraduate students. Ph.D. dissertation. Ohio University.
Parrillo, A. V., Felts, W. M., & Mikow-Porto, V. (1997).
Early initiation of sexual intercourse and its co- occurance with other health-risk behaviors in high school students. Journal of Health Education, 28(2), 85-93.
Pawlby, S. J., Mills, A., Taylor, A., & Quinton, D. (1997).
Adolescent friendships mediating childhood adversity and adult outcome. Journal of Adolescence, 20,633-644.
Peckham, J., & Edwards, S.K. (2003). Facing the facts and identifying the barriers in HIV testing. Sexually Transmitted Infections . 79: p. A21.
Peltzer, K., Nzewi, B., & Mohan, K. (2004). Attitudes towards HIV-antibody testing and people with AIDS among university students in India, South Africa and United States. Indian Journal of Medical Sciences, 5 8(3): 95-108.
Rakgoasi, S. D., & Campbell, E. K. (2000). Adolescent sexual practices in Botswana and its health implications. Union of African Population Studies, Dakur, Senegal.
Reiff, M. I. (2001). Maternal expectations, mother child
connectedness and adolescent sexual debut. Journal of Developmental and BehavioralPediatrics. 22,79
Renzi, C., Zantedeschi, B., & Signorelli, C. (2004).
Voluntary HIV testing in Europe. Scandanavian Journal of Public Health, 32(2): 102-110.
Savaser, S.LN., (2003) Knowledge and Attitudes of High School Students about AIDS: A Turkish Perspective Public Health Nursing Volume 20 Issue 1 Page 71 January 2003 doi. 10.1046/j 1525-1446. 2003.20110.x
Schickcdanz, J. A., Schickedanz, D. I., Forsyth, P. D., & Forsyth, G. A. (2001). Understanding Children and Adolescents. Boston, Allyn and Bacon.
Seboni, N.M. (1993). “Botswana female youth: perception of sexuality and risk taking behaviors”. Unpublished PhD thesis, University of California, San Francisco.
Seloilwe, B; Jack, A; Letshabo, K. Bainame, K; Veskov, D; Mokoto, M; Kobue, M & Muzilu, R. (2001) Behavioral and prevention issues on HIV/AIDS at the University of Botswann, Pula: Botswana Journal of African Studies. 15(2): 204-210.
Shissna, O. & Simbayi, L C (eds) (2002). Nelson Mandela/HSRC study of HIV/AIDS: South African national H1V prevalence, behavioral risks and muss media: household survey 2002. Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council.
Social Impact Assessment and Policy Analysis Corporation (PTY) Ltd (SIAPAC-Africa). (1993). Monitoring trends in youth sexual behaviors AIDS/STD Unit, Ministry of Health, Botswana.
Stanecki, K. A. (2004). The AIDS Pandemic in the 21st Century, U.S. Census Bureau, International Population Reports, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington.
Tubman, J.G., Windle, M., & Windle, R. C. (1996). The onset of cross temporal patterning of sexual intercourse in middle adolescence: Prospective relations with behavioral and emotional problems. Child Development, 67, 327-343.
UNAIDS (2004). Second Generation HIV/AIDS Surveillance, A Technical Report; NACA, AIDS/STD Unit, Ministry of Health, BOTUSA Project, Botswana -Harvard Partnership.
UNAIDS, World Health Organization, ACHAP-Nov 2002 UNAIDS. (2002). Report on the global HIV/AIDS epidemic. Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, Geneva.
UNAIDS. (2004). 2004 Report on the Global AIDS Epidemic: 4th Global Report Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Geneva.
United Nations Development Program (UNDP), (2000). Botswana human development report 2000, United Nations Development Programme, Gaborone. Vazquez-Alvarez, R. (2004). HIV/AIDS knowledge differentials by Geopolitical, Social and Economic Status: Evidence from Surveyed Children in South East Asia Discussion Paper, Department of
Economics, University of St. Gallen . Unpublished Work
Whitbeck, L. B., Conger, R. D., & Kao, M. Y. (1993).
The influence of parental support, depressed affect, and peers on the sexual behaviors of adolescent girls. Journal of Family Issues., 14, 261-278.
White, S. D., & Blassie, R. (1992). Adolescent sexual behavior. Adolescence, 27, 183-191.
Yelibi, S. Valenti, P., Volpe, C., Caprara, A. Dedy, S. & Tape, G. (1993). Sociocultural aspects of AIDS in an urban peripheral area of Abidjan (Cote d’Ivoire). Istituto Superiore di Sanita, Rome, Italy. AIDS Care. 1993;5(2):187-97.
Zaffiro, J.J., (1994) Facing up to Crises; The Politics of AIDS policy in Botswana Scandinavian Journal of Development Alternatives. Vol. XIII, No.1-2, 1994, pp 79-111.
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.