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Myths and misconceptions about HIV transmission in Ghana: what are the drivers?
Authors: Eric Y. Tenkorang
Source: Culture, Health and Sexuality, 15(3): 296-310; DOI: 10.1080/13691058.2012.752107
Topic(s): HIV/AIDS
Country: Africa
Published: DEC 2013
Abstract: Biomedical and social cognitive models driving HIV preventive activities in sub-Saharan Africa are mostly premised on factual and accurate knowledge of the disease. While knowledge about HIV exists in most parts of Africa, there is widespread belief in myths that often contradict and undermine preventive efforts. Using the 2008 Demographic and Health Survey and applying logit models, we examined what influences belief in myths and misconceptions surrounding HIV transmission among Ghanaian men and women. Results indicate that respondents with high knowledge of how HIV may be transmitted had lower odds of endorsing myths about the disease. Compared to the less educated and poorer Ghanaians, educated and wealthier Ghanaians were less likely to endorse myths about HIV. Also, compared to the Akan people, respondents identifying with other ethnic groups were significantly less likely to endorse myths. The findings suggest that policy makers provide accurate information about how the disease is spread to counter myths surrounding HIV transmission. Keywords • myths, • misconceptions, • HIV, • Ghana, • Akan