oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Knowledge and attitudes on AIDS relevant for the establishment of community care in the city of Harare

Volume 39, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



Because of the increasing number of people with the HlV infection or AIDS, health resources and facilities are becoming over burdened. Many projects are looking towards involving communities more in caring and supporting those living with HlV/AIDS. In view of this, features of knowledge and attitudes have been drawn out of a main study on knowledge, attitudes and practices on 2 109 respondents in the City of Harare, to demonstrate areas where urgent preparation is needed to facilitate community care. The majority of respondents (96 pc) were aware that AIDS is a sexually transmitted disease. About 70 pc of the respondents thought that there were many people infected with HIV in Zimbabwe. Most of the respondents (83,3 pc) were frightened by the idea of catching AIDS. However, 82 pc would want to know if they are infected with the AIDS virus. About nine pc of the respondents said that they would commit suicide on discovering that they had HIV. Only 10 pc would have another child after becoming infected. A quarter of the respondents would not be supportive of people with AIDS. They stated that they would evict lodgers with AIDS, would avoid either neighbour, co-worker or school mate with AIDS. People were generally more willing to look after their own children (76 pc) and less supportive of other relatives (68 pc) who had AIDS. Gender differences are also highlighted.

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