HIV prevention among Zambian adolescents: Developing a value utilization norm change model

University of Miami, كورال غيبلز، فلوريدا, Florida, United States
Social Science & Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.56). 03/1997; 44(4):455-68. DOI: 10.1016/S0277-9536(96)00164-5
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Peer-led interventions are effective in reducing risk for HIV among adolescents. A pre-intervention study was conducted to determine how to successfully carry out a possible future intervention to reduce HIV risk among adolescents in urban Zambia. Ethnographic and sexual data were collected on 276 males and females both attending and not attending secondary school during a 14-month period in 1992-1993. Additionally, several focus groups were conducted. This paper reviews the cultural background of Zambian adolescents and presents an overview of the study results. Among the findings, it was learned that most of the male and female adolescents (average age of 17) are sexually active, very few routinely use condoms, less than half of sexually active adolescents have ever used a condom, AIDS is omnipresent in Zambia, the threat of HIV infection is a very real concern for most of the adolescents, there is a strong desire to protect themselves from HIV infection during sex (but condoms are often seen as ineffective and other forms of safer sex are not discussed), nearly all of the sexually active females and some of the males have received money or gifts for sex, and some of the out-of-school females are engaging in very risky sex (e.g., unprotected anal intercourse, and anilingus) with adult men. The ethnographic data, including a brief trial risk reduction workshop, suggests that the core values and social norms of the adolescents may shape behavioral change. A value utilization/norm change (VUNC) model is developed, which is intended to provide a conceptual framework for understanding how to utilize selected core values of the adolescents to strengthen or alter norms within the social networks in order to elicit desired HIV risk reduction.