Knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about HIV/AIDS among males and females aged 15 to 49 in Cameroon, Africa / by Emmanuel Ngwakongnwi.
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Levels of knowledge about AIDS are widely believed to be high in Cameroon, a country with low prevalence rates compared to other countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, not much effort has been made to evaluate these levels because HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns emphasize condom use, abstinence, and fidelity, not the attitudes and behaviors of the Cameroon population. The purpose of this study was to explore AIDS knowledge and attitudes among the sexually active population, review current literature on best practices regarding AIDS prevention and treatment, and propose recommendations for action. Data from the (2004) demographic and health survey (DHS) in Cameroon were collected from 10 provinces and 2 cities. The sample consisted of 10,656 females and 5,280 males for the DHS questionnaire, and 12,065 males and females for HIV testing. As with previous studies in Sub-Saharan Africa, the findings of this study showed an overall high level of awareness about AIDS, but it also revealed important deficiencies among the age groups, with knowledge levels higher for males than females and decreasing with age for both genders. Results also showed that females are more likely than males to contract HTV, and the likelihood of contracting the vims was far greater in urban areas and/or areas around the oil pipeline rather than rural areas. People with a higher level of education were more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviours. Low levels of knowledge and use of the voluntary HIV testing and counseling centre were reported. More education, screening, and counseling are required to mitigate the effect of the HIV/AIDS epidemic on the population.