183402 Cultural and Contextual HIV Prevention Needs of Rural Kenyan Youth

Tuesday, October 28, 2008: 1:30 PM

Gary W. Harper, PhD, MPH , Master of Public Health Program, DePaul University, Chicago, IL
Audrey K. Bangi, PhD, MPH , UCSF Center for AIDS Prevention Studies, San Francisco, CA
Leah C. Neubauer, MA , Master of Public Health Program; Department of Psychology, DePaul University, Chicago, IL
Jessica Velcoff, MS , Department of Psychology, DePaul University, Chicago, IL
Alexandra G. Murphy, PhD , College of Communication, DePaul University, Chicago, IL
Background: The majority of new HIV infections in Kenya occur among young people, especially rural youth who have less access to HIV-related services. In order to design culturally appropriate HIV prevention programs, public health professionals must understand cultural/contextual factors that impact HIV sexual risk/protection.

Methods: Nine focus groups were conducted with youth between the ages of 14-24 (N=199; 110 females, 89 males) living in rural communities in Limuru, Kenya. Youth were recruited through youth groups, and all focus groups were conducted by trained facilitators. Focus groups were recorded and transcribed. Data were thematically analyzed with a focus on: a) multi-level factors that increase rural Kenyan youth's participation in HIV sexual risk behaviors, and b) participants ideas regarding HIV prevention interventions.

Results: Individual/dyadic level factors related to youth's participation in HIV sexual risk behaviors included: inaccurate information, substance use, poor partner communication, older partners, interpersonal/dating violence, lack of parent-child HIV communication, and survival sex. Societal/cultural level factors influencing sexual risk behaviors included: gender inequality/expectations, traditional cultural beliefs/traditions, Western cultural influences, absence of role models, HIV stigma, absence of jobs, and poverty. Ideas for HIV prevention interventions included: HIV prevention workshops/media campaigns, job skills training, HIV-related stigma reduction campaigns, condom distribution, social/athletic clubs, and community-wide demonstrations.

Conclusions: HIV prevention interventions for rural Kenyan youth should go beyond basic prevention education and address risk influences at multiple levels including: individual, dyadic/familial, society, and culture. Interventions may use a range of culturally appropriate delivery modalities, and also focus on sustainable structural level change.

Learning Objectives:
1. List four individual/dyadic level factors that may increase rural Kenyan youths’ participation in HIV sexual risk behaviors. 2. List four societal/cultural level factors that my increase rural Kenyan youths’ participation in HIV sexual risk behaviors. 3. List four HIV prevention strategies that would be culturally appropriate and beneficial for use with rural Kenyan youth.

Keywords: Adolescents, International, HIV Interventions

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been conducting HIV prevention work domestically for over 23 years and in Kenya for 3 years. I was actively involved in the collection of the data, and took primary responsibility for analysis of the data.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

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