Knowledge of HIV epidemic and safe sex practices in Zambia - Does empowerment matter?

3 April, 2021

Unfortunately this paper begs the question 'what do the authors mean by empowerment?'. The full text would tell us but a google search did not give any results. If you happen to know the authors, please invite them to join us.

CITATION: Knowledge of HIV epidemic and safe sex practices in Zambia - Does empowerment matter? Journal of the International AIDS Society. Conference: 4th HIV Research for Prevention Conference, HIVRP. 24 (SUPPL 1) (pp 193), 2021. Date of Publication: February 2021. Sherafat-Kazemzadeh R.; Gaumer G.; New F.; Nandakumar A.


Background: The campaigns for increasing knowledge about HIV/ AIDS have shown mixed impacts on practice of safe. We hypothesize that individual's empowerment mediates the ability to act based on this knowledge and engage in safe sex practices.

Method(s): We used data from Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (PHIA) nationally representative survey of 2016 in Zambia. We limited the analysis on a subsample of adults selected for the HIV knowledge module and created scalar variables for empowerment, HIV knowledge and sexual behavior. We used regression analysis to assess the impact of empowerment on condom use, having single partner and composite behavior score.

Result(s): Among 9,544 responders (57% female), 9.1% (men) and 15.3% (women) were HIV+. Men and women reported condom use at 21% vs. 16%, and single partner at 67% vs. 83%, respectively. Mean behavior score was 2.34 +/- 0.02 (men) and 2.87 +/- 0.02 (women). Having single partner in previous year and behavior score showed significant positive association with empowerment. When modeling for empowerment effect, knowledge was associated with better behavior, but not with single partner. Wealth attenuated the impact of empowerment or knowledge on condom use. Education was significantly associated with higher condom use and better behavior, but not having single partner. Not living in a union

reduced behavior score. Middle wealth quintiles showed positive association with practice of safer sex. Those living in higher inequality regions showed lower rate of having single sexual partner.

Conclusion(s): Individual's empowerment is playing a role in improving safe sex practices. Successful policies to increase behaviors preventing HIV/AIDS requires incorporating strategies to improve individual's agency in decision making.


Neil Pakenham-Walsh, HIFA Coordinator,