HIV/AIDS risk and worry in Northern Kenya
Ngugi, Elizabeth N
Rotha, Eric Abella
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Data from a 2003 survey of sexual behaviour (n = 400) conducted in the Ariaal community of Karare, Marsabit District, northern Kenya, were used to delineate patterns of risk and worry about contracting HIV/AIDS. Despite widespread reporting of high-risk sexual behaviours (including multiple partners, concurrency, sexual mixing and not using condoms) by survey participants, logistic regression analysis found only one statistically significant positive association between these behaviours and self-assessment of being at high risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. In contrast, log-linear analysis of worry patterns found highly significant relationships between self-assessment of high risk of HIV/AIDS and worry about one's partner's sexual behaviour. These findings indicate that in relation to contracting HIV/AIDS currently Ariaal are more concerned about the sexual behaviour of others, rather than their own behaviour. More generally, results point to the potential for combining concepts of worry with risk assessment in HIV/AIDS research to generate insights into how both concepts are linked to individual, dyadic and population-level factors within specific cultural settings.