Tag Archives: HIV

Human immunodeficiency virus. A non-taxonomic and historical term referring to any of two species, specifically HIV-1 and/or HIV-2. Prior to 1986, this was called human T-lymphotropic virus type III/lymphadenopathy-associated virus (HTLV-III/LAV). From 1986-1990, it was an official species called HIV. Since 1991, HIV was no longer considered an official species name; the two species were designated HIV-1 and HIV-2.

Introduction of culturally sensitive HIV prevention in the context of female initiation rites: an applied anthropological approach in Mozambique

LMEJ Afr AIDS Res. 2009;8(4):491-502.

Introduction of culturally sensitive HIV prevention in the context of female initiation rites: an applied anthropological approach in Mozambique

Kotanyi S, Krings-Ney B

ABSTRACT

In Mozambique, initiation rites represent the most appropriate socio-cultural context for dealing with sexuality for a large part of the population. As the group most vulnerable to HIV exposure, HIV-prevention counselling could be ideally introduced to young women during initiation rites. This article demonstrates how interventions can take advantage of the positive aspects of this tradition. We discuss local notions of social ‘contamination’ versus biological ‘contamination,’ and we present a culturally sensitive communication strategy to bridge the divergent paradigms around AIDS-similar symptoms. Because of the emotional importance of the initiation rites, the suggested approach goes far beyond cognitive knowledge. After training, the godmothers in initiation rites became highly motivated to teach novice girls about HIV prevention and they trained other elderly women as well. Thus, the initiation rites turned into a process of empowerment for women in their own communities. A central agenda of the female initiation rites in Mozambique is to inculcate respect towards ancestors, elders, authorities and others; however, this respectful attitude between genders and between generations is disappearing due to factors like warfare and the cash economy. HIV-prevention counselling may be successfully introduced into initiation rites because of the unconscious, emotional impact of the process on the initiates’ behaviour. Other studies have shown that cognitive knowledge is not enough to lead to behavioural changes. Without changing the traditional initiation rites for females, which in Mozambique includes no genital cutting, a complementary approach introduces HIV-prevention counselling during ritual counselling moments, thereby motivating godmothers and novice girls and young women to be more aware and take precautions to prevent HIV infection.

This article can be accessed in this LINK

Delivering culturally sensitive, sexual health education in western Kenya: a phenomenological case study.

Afr J AIDS Res. 2017 Sep;16(3):193-202. doi: 10.2989/16085906.2017.1349682.

Delivering culturally sensitive, sexual health education in western Kenya: a phenomenological case study.

Lacey G

ABSTRACT

While generic programmes have been created to raise sexual health awareness, these cannot always be applied to communities whose cultures and circumstances make them especially vulnerable to infection. Taking a phenomenological approach, this paper examines the circumstances of the Gusii people of Kisii, Kenya, and examines the specific challenges of providing sexual health education to the community as experienced by an ethnic Gusii woman, Joyce Ombasa. Joyce’s story reveals that the Gusii living in and around rural villages have several cultural characteristics that make them susceptible to HIV/AIDS and that render community health education problematic, especially if offered by a female educator of the same ethnicity. Women cannot teach men. Discussions of sex and condom use, and viewing the naked bodies of the opposite sex are taboo. Promiscuity is commonplace and there is a reluctance to use condoms and to undergo HIV testing. Female circumcision persists and there is a high rate of sexual violence, incest and intergenerational sexual intercourse. In addition, government policies and legislation threaten to exacerbate some of the sexually risky behaviours. Bringing HIV education and female empowerment to the rural Gusii requires a culturally sensitive approach, discarding sexual abstinence messages in favour of harm minimisation, including the promotion of condom use, regular HIV testing and the rejection of female circumcision and intergenerational sex. Trust needs to be built through tactics such as adopting a complex and fluid outsider identity and replacing formal sex education with training in income generating skills and casual discussions regarding condoms and sexual health.

This article can be accessed in this LINK

The relationship between female genital mutilation and HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa.

Afr J Reprod Health. 2013 Dec;17(4 Spec No):156-60.FREE

The relationship between female genital mutilation and HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa.

Olaniran AA.

ABSTRACT

Female genital mutilation (FGM) is an age-old practice that has since been linked with many health problems. This review aims to highlight some of the controversies trailing the relationship between FGM and HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa. A literature search was conducted on the subject matter. This was done using articles published in English while limiting the geographical coverage to sub-Saharan Africa. Three themes were noted. These themes include: Direct causal link between FGM and HIV transmission; indirect causal link between FGM and HIV transmission and a negative or no association between FGM and HIV transmission. While many of the arguments are within scientific reasoning, the researches supporting the views seem to lack the necessary objectivity. This study underscored the need for a more objective lens in viewing and conducting research on the relationship between FGM and HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa.

This article can be accessed in this LINK.

The Association of Female Circumcision with HIV Status and Sexual Behavior in Mali: A Multilevel Analysis.

J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr. 2013 Dec 27. [Epub ahead of print]

The Association of Female Circumcision with HIV Status and Sexual Behavior in Mali: A Multilevel Analysis.

Smolak A.

ABSTRACT

OBJECTIVE: In the regions of Africa where female circumcision (FC) is practiced it is often regarded as a protective against HIV infection because it is believed to help women resist “illicit” sexual acts. This study examines the association between FC, HIV status, and sexual risk behavior in Mali, while taking into account multilevel factors. The following hypothesis was tested: FC is associated with HIV positive status, but not with decreased sexual behavior.

DESIGN:: The sample consists of 13,015 Malian women of reproductive age (15-49 years old). The sample is a nationally representative survey of randomly selected respondents using a stratified multistage sampling strategy. Measures included biospecimens for HIV antibody testing and survey results reporting on: number of partners, sexual debut, premarital sex, and sociodemographics.

METHODS:: Multilevel modeling (MLM) was used to assess the significance of difference in HIV status and sexual behavior with FC. MLM was also used to adjust for age, education, ethnicity, wealth, religion, region, household, and community membership. Multiple imputation with 10 imputations corrected for 10% missing data.

RESULTS:: Participants with FC were at 2.100 (p<0.001; 95% CI: 1.844, 2.389) higher odds of being HIV positive. Women with FC did not significantly differ from women without FC in number of sexual partners (p=0.634), age of sexual debut (p=0.888), or odds of having premarital sex (p=0.575).

CONCLUSION:: FC is associated with HIV positive status, but not with a decrease in sexual risk behavior. These findings have important implication for FC and HIV prevention.

HIV/AIDS and female genital mutilation in the Somali’s nomads of eastern Ethiopia: a discussion paper.

World Hosp Health Serv. 2006;42(3):27-31.

HIV/AIDS and female genital mutilation in the Somali’s nomads of eastern Ethiopia: a discussion paper.

Omar M, Mohamed K.

Institute of Health Sciences and Public Health Research, University of Leeds, United Kingdom.

ABSTRACT

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) is widely practised among the Somali nomads in Eastern Ethiopia. It may be categorized as one of many harmful traditional practices such as uvula cutting, gum piercing, cauterization and blood letting, which are conducted by unskilled traditional healers in unhygienic conditions, and which potentially increase the risk of HIV transmission. Other factors also play a significant role in the perpetuation of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the region, such as lack of awareness, misconception about the routes of HIV transmission and ways of prevention, the practice of polygamy, and window inheritance. Pervasive poverty and recurrent famine also fuel the epidemic. Lack of official pastoralist-specific policy and strategy on HIV and FGM further complicates the problem. This paper discusses the possible relationship in terms of health risk between HIV/AIDS and FGM in the Horn of Africa and calls for more concerted efforts, including further research in order to address this potential risk.

There is no LINK to view this article online

Female genital mutilation: potential for HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa and prospect for epidemiologic investigation and intervention.

Afr J Reprod Health. 2007 Apr;11(1):33-42. FREE

Female genital mutilation: potential for HIV transmission in sub-Saharan Africa and prospect for epidemiologic investigation and intervention.

Monjok E, Essien EJ, Holmes L Jr.

Institute of Community Health, University of Houston, Texas Medical center, Houston, TX 77030, USA

ABSTRACT

Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) which involves alteration of the female genitalia for non-medical grounds is prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa, associated with long-term genitourinary complications, and possible HIV transmission. This mini-review aims to examine FGM and the possibility of HIV transmission through this procedure. We performed an electronic search using Medline for articles published between 1966 to 2006 for evidence of FGM practice, its complications, and the nexus between this procedure and HIV sero-positivity. The results indicate ongoing FGM practice, albeit prevalence reduction, due probably to the increasing knowledge of the consequences of FGM as a result of non-sterile techniques. Secondly, the complications of FGM are well established which include Genitourinary disorders. Further, while data is limited on HIV transmission via FGM, there is biologic plausibility in suggesting that FGM may be associated with increasing prevalence of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. This paper recommends further studies in order to assess the association between FGM and HIV transmission.

This article can be accessed in this LINK.

African women and vulnerability to HIV/AIDS: implications for female related cultural practices.

Int Q Community Health Educ. 2006-2007;27(1):87-94.

African women and vulnerability to HIV/AIDS: implications for female related cultural practices.

Uwe EA, Ekuri EE, Asuquo PN.

University of Calabar, Nigeria. ekauwe2002@yahoo.com

ABSTRACT

Violence against women in Africa dates back to primordial society, where cultural practices such as female genital mutilation and polygamous marriages were prescribed and supervised by male-dominated social structures. Women’s status has always been at high risk, since such practices are male supervised. With the upsurge of the HIV/AIDS pandemic globally, research needs to focus on such cultural practices, the dangers of such practices, and possible eradication. The present article examines the change-resistant, prevailing religious, social, and psychological barriers to change.

This article can be accessed in this LINK.

Comments on Brewer et al., “Male and female circumcision associated with prevalent HIV infection in virgins and adolescents in Kenya, Lesotho, and Tanzania”.

Ann Epidemiol. 2007 Nov;17(11):926-7; author reply 928-9. Epub 2007 Jun 6.

Comments on Brewer et al., “Male and female circumcision associated with prevalent HIV infection in virgins and adolescents in Kenya, Lesotho, and Tanzania”.

Westreich D, Rennie S, Muula A.

Comment on Ann Epidemiol. 2007 Mar;17(3):217-26. SEE

This article can be purchased in this LINK

Virginity testing in South Africa: re-traditioning the postcolony.

Cult Health Sex. 2006 Jan-Feb;8(1):17-30.

Virginity testing in South Africa: re-traditioning the postcolony.

Vincent L.

Department of Political and International Studies, Rhodes University, South Africa. L.Vincent@ru.ac.za

ABSTRACT

Umhlanga is a ceremony celebrating virginity. In South Africa, it is practiced, among others, by the Zulu ethnic group who live mainly in the province of KwaZulu Natal. After falling into relative disuse in the Zulu community, the practice of virginity testing made a comeback some 10 years ago at around the time of the country’s first democratic election and coinciding with the period when the HIV pandemic began to take hold. In July 2005 the South African Parliament passed a new Children’s Bill which will prohibit virginity testing of children. The Bill has been met with outrage and public protest on the part of Zulu citizens. Traditional circumcision rites are also addressed in the new bill but are not banned. Instead, male children are given the right to refuse to participate in traditional initiation ceremonies which include circumcision. This paper asks why the practice of virginity testing is regarded as so troubling to the new democratic order that the state has chosen to take the heavy-handed route of banning it. The paper further asks why the state’s approach to traditional male circumcision has been so different to its approach to virginity testing. Finally, the paper asks what these two challenging cases in the country’s new democracy tell us about the nature of liberal democratic citizenship in South Africa 10 years after apartheid’s formal demise.

This article can be purchased in this LINK

Adolescent health in an international context: the challenge of sexual and reproductive health in sub-Saharan Africa.

Adolesc Med State Art Rev. 2009 Dec;20(3):874-86, viii.

Adolescent health in an international context: the challenge of sexual and reproductive health in sub-Saharan Africa.

Fatusi A, Blum RW.

Department of Community Health, College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University, P.O. Box 1905 OAU Post Office, Ile-Ife 22005, Nigeria.

ABSTRACT

Adolescent Health in an International Context: The Challenge of Sexual and Reproductive Health in Sub-Saharan Africa Adesegun Fatusi, Robert W. Blum Today’s young people are growing up in a world that is rapidly changing and vastly different from that of previous generations. The health challenges confronting them are also significantly different and vary greatly around the world. This article presents an overview of the health of young people in an international context and highlights the factors that have shaped the lives of young people in recent times. It draws attention to the patterns and variations in the major causes of mortality and morbidity. A special focus is given to sub-Saharan Africa, where HIV/AIDS and reproductive health challenges are the greatest.

There is no LINK to view this article online.