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Perception of health needs and HIV/AIDS threats in rural and urban Zulu-speaking adults.


Int Conf AIDS. 1996 Jul 7-12;11(1):174 (abstract no. Mo.D.1701). Unique

Objective: To investigate the relationship between variables common to models of health behaviour, and the role of demographic and contextual variables in determining or influencing AIDS health protective behaviours. The perceived and stated health needs and priorities of the sample were investigated, with the intention of informing HIV/AIDS interventions in the region. Methods: A sample of fifty Zulu-speaking adults were randomly selected from a rural area and an urban area within the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands. Data was collected using a questionnaire together with a structured interview, by Zulu-speaking assistants. The design and instruments were based on the findings of a pilot study conducted in the same area. Results: There was a close relationship between perceived health needs and identified social and environmental problems. HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases were not perceived as a health priority. Knowledge of HIV/AIDS was relatively low and responses tended to be stereotyped. There was some indication of an awareness of personal vulnerability and self-efficacy, but subjects' responses suggest that this was not translated into health-protective behaviours. Culture, gender, age, education and rural/urban classification were found to be significantly related to key variables within the models, and were also found to be associated with the prioritisation of health needs and explanations of ill-health. Conclusions: While many of the variables comprising theoretical models of health behaviour were useful in explaining such behaviour in the population studied, demographic and contextual factors were paramount in determining and influencing decisions about health.

*Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome/PREVENTION & CONTROL *Health Services Needs and Demand *HIV Infections/PREVENTION & CONTROL *Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice


Information in this article was accurate in January 30, 1997. The state of the art may have changed since the publication date. This material is designed to support, not replace, the relationship that exists between you and your doctor. Always discuss treatment options with a doctor who specializes in treating HIV.