Background: As of 1997, Zambia, a land-locked country in Sub-Sarah Africa in the epicenter of HIV infection, had the third highest level of AIDS prevalence in the world with 16.6% of the adult population infected. Using data collected from Zambian women in 1992 and 1996, the purpose of this study is to examine how people gathered information (through informal networks, formal networks, or both) in 1992 versus 1996 and if knowledge of AIDS varied by information source.
Methods: The data analyzed in this study were collected using the Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) from two separate samples of Zambian women in 1992 and 1996. Data collected in 1992 included information from 7060 interviews while the 1996 data included information from 8021 interview.
Results: Knowledge was found to vary by information source. In 1992, those who heard of AIDS through mass media, either alone or through conjunction with another source, had more correct knowledge. By 1996, correct knowledge for some questions was universal making the method irrelevant; however, differences in knowledge by source were still found for questions for which knowledge was not universal. This was especially true for recognition of condoms as an effective method of HIV prevention for which percent of correct knowledge remained low among those whose source of information was informal groups.
Conclusion: While informal groups adequately dispelled common transmission myths, it is likely ill equipped to promote correct knowledge that require greater technical knowledge or training.
Learning Objectives: 1. Assess the role of informal and formal groups in the transmission of health-related knowledge. 2. Discuss the theory used to develop the analysis. 3. Recognize the importance of different groups, including formal health care organizations, in communicating information about disease.
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Network Analysis
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: None
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
The 129th Annual Meeting of APHA