A community based study on knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) on HIV/AIDS in Gambella town, Western Ethiopia



Abstract Background: HIV/AIDS is the major public health problem in our country. Studies need to be conducted to assess the behavioral risk factors of its transmission and prevention. Objectives: To assess knowledge, attitude and practice of HIV/AIDS in the study population. Methods: Community based cross-sectional study was done to assess the knowledge, attitude and practice on HIV/AIDS among individuals aged 15 years and above in Gambella town in November, 2000. Structured questionnaire was used to collect data. Results: A total of 359 individuals were interviewed among whom 53.8% were males. Fifty-five percent of them were between 20 and 30 years of age. Majority of the study population were government employee. Sixty six percent were married while 25% were single. Oromos (32.9%), Agnuaks (21.4%), Amharas (16.7%) and Nuers (12.5%) were the major ethnic groups in the study population. About ninety six percent of the interviewed population reported to have heard about HIV/AIDS for whom the main source of information was the mass media (82.8%). The majority reported unprotected sex (79.7%) and unsafe blood transfusion (64.2%) as common ways of HIV transmission. About eighty six percent and 80% agreed on screening before marriage and voluntary testing respectively. Eighty six percent practiced sex at a mean age of first sexual contact of 16.6 and 18.4 years of females and males, respectively. Among those who had sexual contact with nonregular partner in the last one year, 39.6% did not use condoms. Males had higher rate of STDs as compared to females (21.1% and 12.2% respectively). Males were also observed to have significantly higher frequencies of sexual contact with non-regular partner in the last one year (p=0.00). Conclusions: The findings of the study showed that sexual practice often begun as early as eleven years of age with the mean of age 16 and 18 years for females and males, respectively. The respondents were observed to have adequate knowledge although risky behavior is prevailing. Therefore, we recommend that health education should target elementary school children and those children who are not at school as early as the age of ten years. The knowledge of mother to child transmission in the region is limited. Hence, emphasis also needs to be given to improve the knowledge on mother to child transmission of HIV. Information dissemination should also be designed in such a way to bring about behavioral change. Regular assessment on the impact of the intervention should also be done. [Ethiop. J.Health Dev.2003;17(3):205-213]



How to Cite

Negash, Y., Gebre, B., Benti, D., & Bejiga, M. (2017). A community based study on knowledge, attitude and practice (KAP) on HIV/AIDS in Gambella town, Western Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 17(3). Retrieved from https://ejhd.org/index.php/ejhd/article/view/729