However, Kaijage (1994b:14) comments as follows about Arusha:

Stigmatization of AIDS patients in Arusha is far worse than it is in Kagera. The reason is that the disease is not so prevalent in Arusha, and lots of myths still surround it.

Testing

If some of the attitudes described above are indeed common, there is a real risk that HIV/AIDS will be driven underground, and its spread will become yet more difficult to control. One might expect the above rather harsh views on HIV/AIDS-infected individuals to translate into a reluctance to be tested, or at any rate a desire not to have test results known. Surprisingly, the WHO/GPA surveys indicate no such fear of testing. Around 90 percent of respondents in all areas except Lusaka, Zambia, said they would undergo testing and would want to know the results, and the vast majority also said they would want their families to know the results.

Similar responses were found in another survey in Guinea-Bissau (Hogsborg and Aaby, 1992), but the authors observe that the professed willingness to share information with partners was at odds with actual behavior. In a serosurvey in the same area, all people testing positive were invited to bring their partners back for free counseling. Not one did. The likelihood that survey results reflect what respondents feel to be the "correct" answer rather than the truth is supported by focus group discussions. While participants in Zaire said they would want to know test results, many men said they would not want their wives or partners to be told (Irwin et al., 1991). In Uganda, the majority of those discussing the issue said flatly that they did not want to know their HIV status (Konde-Lule, 1993). And in a recent study of female partners of AIDS patients in a hospital in Kampala, Uganda, only 12 percent of women correctly identified their husbands' diagnosis as "slim" or AIDS (Baingana et al., 1995). Most women (54 percent) thought that the disease was tuberculosis. Others thought that it was some other disease or simply did not know. Furthermore, although just over half of the women felt that they needed to be tested for HIV, only 5 percent had actually done so at the time of the survey (Baingana et al., 1995).

THE ROLE OF CONDOMS

Knowledge of condoms varies widely both across countries and, in many surveys, between the sexes.15 More men than women knew of condoms in every country surveyed by WHO/GPA, a disparity that remains even after holding

15  

 An exception to generally low awareness is the study by Ogbuagu and Charles (1993), which reports that 87.1 percent of women and 89.9 percent of men surveyed in Calabar, Nigeria, knew of condoms. This result compares with a national figure reported in the DHS of 24 percent for all women.



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