[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although an increasing number of people living with HIV (PLHIV) in sub-Saharan Africa are benefiting from the rapid scale-up of antiretroviral therapy (ART), retention in HIV care and treatment services remains a major concern. We examined socioeconomic and sociocultural barriers and potential facilitators of retention in ART in Iringa, Tanzania, a region with the second highest prevalence of HIV in the country. In 2012, 116 in-depth interviews were conducted to assess community members' perceptions, barriers and facilitators of HIV treatment in Iringa, including key informants, persons at heightened risk for infection, and HIV service-delivery users. Data were transcribed, translated, entered into Atlas.ti, coded, and analyzed for key themes. In order to provide the full range of perspectives across the community on issues that may affect retention, we report findings from all 116 participants, but draw on verbatim quotes to highlight the experiences of the 14 PLHIV who reported that they were receiving HIV care and treatment services. Despite the growing availability of HIV care and treatment services in Iringa, participants reported significant barriers to retention, including lack of knowledge and misperceptions of treatment, access problems that included difficulties in reaching distant clinics and pervasive poverty that left PLHIV unable to cope with out-of-pocket costs associated with their care, persistent stigmatization of PLHIV and frequent reliance on alternative healing systems instead of biomedical treatment. Positive perceptions of the efficacy of ART, improved ART availability in the region, improved access to care through supplemental aid, and social support were perceived to enhance treatment continuation. Our findings suggest that numerous socioeconomic and sociocultural barriers inhibit retention in HIV care and treatment services in this setting. Intervention strategies that improve ART accessibility, incorporate supplemental aid, enhance social support, reduce stigma, and develop partnerships with alternative healers are needed to improve HIV-related outcomes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Sexually active young women bear the brunt of the HIV epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa. Information is needed on risk and protective correlates at the family, partner and individual level for the design of programs to encourage safer sexual behaviors and reduce HIV risk among young women.
The study was conducted among 1,675 sexually experienced women aged 15-24 living in Rakai, Uganda. The sample was taken from an ongoing community cohort study initiated in 1994 in 56 villages by the Rakai Health Sciences Program. Contextual variabless at the family, partner and individual levels were analyzed in relation to three outcome variables: sex before the age of 15, coerced first sex and condom use at first sex.
At the family level, young females who did not live with both parents were more likely than those who did to have had sex before the age of 15 and to have experienced sexual coercion at first sex. Those whose mothers had some secondary education and whose female caregiver did not consume alcohol had elevated odds of using a condom at first sex. Having initiated sex at age 15 or older was the strongest individual-level characteristic associated with having used a condom at first sex.
Reproductive health interventions should target adolescents and their parents to delay the onset of sexual activity, prevent sexual coercion and encourage condom use. Both adolescents and their parents should be educated about the risks associated with different types of sexual partnerships.
International perspectives on sexual and reproductive health 09/2013; 39(3):153-62. · 1.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Medical male circumcision (MMC) is a central component of HIV prevention. In this study we examined barriers to and facilitators of MMC in Rakai, Uganda. Interviews and focus groups with MMC acceptors, decliners, and community members were collected and analyzed iteratively. Themes were developed based on immersion, repeated reading, sorting, and coding of data using grounded theory. Pain, medical complications, infertility, lack of empirical efficacy, waiting time before resumption of sex, and religion were identified as obstacles to MMC acceptance. Prevention and healing of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), access to HIV and other ancillary care, penile hygiene, and peer influence were key motivators. Voluntary counseling and testing for HIV, partner influence, and sexual potency were both barriers and motivators. Individual and societal factors, such as pain and religion, might slow MMC scale up. Health benefits, such as HIV/STI prevention and penile hygiene, are essential in motivating men to accept MMC.
Qualitative Health Research 03/2013; · 2.19 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract Women's rights and gender empowerment programmes are now part of the international agenda for improving global public health, the benefits of which are well documented. However, the public health community has, yet, to address how people define and understand gender equality and how they enact the process of empowerment in their lives. This study uses safe homes and respect for everyone (SHARE), an anti-violence intervention in rural Rakai, Uganda, as a case study to investigate perceptions of gender equality. Investigators analysed 12 focus groups of adult women and men to explore how macro-level concepts of gender equality are being processed on an interpersonal level and the effects on health outcomes. Respondents generally agreed that women lack basic rights. However, they also expressed widespread disagreement about the meanings of gender equality, and reported difficulties integrating the concepts of gender equality into their interpersonal relationships. Community members reported that equality, with the resulting shift in gender norms, could expose women to adverse consequences such as violence, infidelity and abandonment with increased sexual health risks, and potential adverse effects on education. Efforts to increase women's rights must occur in conjunction with community-based work on understandings of gender equality.
Global Public Health 03/2013; · 0.92 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Research from Rakai, Uganda, suggests intimate partner violence (IPV) is common and attitudes condoning it are widespread. We used a public health approach to develop and implement an evidence-based IPV prevention intervention named the Safe Homes and Respect for Everyone (SHARE) Project. SHARE was designed on the Transtheoretical Model of behavior change and adapted IPV prevention strategies from Raising Voices and Stepping Stones. SHARE was implemented in four regions of Rakai. This article describes the design and implementation of SHARE, provides details on strategies and activities used, discusses challenges and lessons learned, and provides recommendations for other violence prevention programmers.
Violence Against Women 12/2012; 18(12):1390-412. · 1.33 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Retaining victims of intimate partner violence (IPV) in longitudinal research is challenging, as abused women often face safety concerns, housing and employment instability, poverty, and major life transitions, making it difficult to locate and retain participants at follow-up time points. This article builds on past research to describe individualized, technology-based retention strategies for hard-to-reach populations, which minimize participant loss while maintaining participant safety. These techniques have resulted in retention rates of 94% at 6-, 12-, and 18-month follow-up interviews in a sample of 278 women experiencing both IPV and housing instability. The authors discuss the ethical use of appropriate technology for maximizing retention of participants as well as the importance of adjusting retention activities to meet the individual safety needs of each participant.
Field Methods 01/2011; 23(1):86-101. · 1.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Latinas experiencing intimate partner violence (IPV) often avoid formal resources due to fear, distrust, and cultural and language barriers, yet little research addresses culturally appropriate interventions for abused Latinas. To develop effective interventions, we must include abused Latinas' voices in research and collaborate with the community-based organizations (CBOs) that serve them. This article's team of academics and CBOs used a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach to inform development of a culturally and linguistically appropriate IPV intervention for Latinas. The authors were able to reach abused Latinas (n = 114) with a relatively low mean acculturation level in a state that is only 8% Latino. The authors share six recommendations from their successful experience to engage, enhance, and sustain research partnerships with CBOs, including strategies to share power and knowledge, and demonstrate accountability to the partnership and the community.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Limited data from low-income countries are available on the continuum of coercive experiences, the contexts in which they occur, and how adolescent women perceive and respond to coercion. This article presents results from focus group discussions and in-depth interviews with pregnant and never pregnant sexually active female adolescents, aged 15 to 17, residing in Rakai District, Uganda, to examine sexual coercion, its context, and the links between coercion and adolescent reproductive health outcomes, including early sexual debut and pregnancy. Informants described multiple forms of sexual coercion, including coerced or forced intercourse, unwanted sexual touching, verbal harassment, and transactional sex. Sexual coercion was perceived to be a normal part of intimate relationships; in particular, informants felt that a woman’s lack of decision-making authority, including choices on sexual encounters, was implicit to marriage. This information may help violence prevention programs develop a range of strategies for addressing sexual coercion among adolescents.
Journal of Interpersonal Violence 01/2009; 24(12):2073-2095. · 1.64 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To assess what individuals in low-income countries perceive as benefits and harms of population-based HIV/STD research.
A total of 811 research participants, research decliners, and community opinion leaders in the Rakai District, Uganda were surveyed. Types of personal and community benefits and harms, as well as rates of reporting great personal and community benefit were assessed.
Using logistic regression, demographic characteristics, participant and opinion leader status, use of Rakai Health Sciences Program (RHSP) services, and perceived research effects were entered as predictors of reported great personal and great community benefit.
Most respondents thought that RHSP research was of great personal (85%) and community (88%) benefit. The perception that the RHSP was a great personal benefit was correlated with female sex, post-secondary education, frequent use of RHSP-sponsored medical services, health knowledge gains, and increased hope for future health improvements. Persons of non-Baganda ethnicity and 30-39 year-olds were less likely to believe research was personally beneficial. Regarding research as a great community benefit was associated with reported health knowledge gains, greater hope for Rakai residents' future health, and local economic benefit. Decliners were the most likely to report a personal harm, while community opinion leaders identified community harms at the highest rates.
The majority of Rakai residents report that HIV/STD research has enhanced their own and their communities' welfare. Different factors were associated with the belief that research is a personal versus community benefit. Variations in participant, decliner, and community opinion leader perceptions highlight inadequacies of current community consultation mechanisms.
AIDS (London, England) 12/2007; 21(18):2493-501. · 6.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although there is increasing recognition of the scope and significance of sexual coercion experienced by adolescent women in developing countries, evidence on its consequences for reproductive health remains limited.
A sample of 575 sexually experienced 15-19-year-old women were interviewed in 2001-2002 as part of the ongoing Rakai surveillance project in rural Uganda. Chi-square tests and logistic regressions were used to investigate associations between coerced first intercourse and selected reproductive health behaviors and outcomes.
Fourteen percent of young women reported that their first sexual intercourse had been coerced. After the effects of respondents' demographic characteristics were accounted for, young women who reported coerced first intercourse were significantly less likely than those who did not to be currently using modern contraceptives, to have used condoms at last intercourse and to have used them consistently during the preceding six months; they were more likely to report their current or most recent pregnancy as unintended (among ever-pregnant women) and to report one or more genital tract symptoms.
Coerced first intercourse is an important social and public health problem that has potentially serious repercussions for young women's reproductive health and well-being. Interventions to improve adolescent women's reproductive health should directly address the issue of sexual coercion.
International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health 01/2005; 30(4):156-63. · 1.43 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite growing recognition of the problem, relatively little is known about the issue of coercive sex in developing countries. This study presents findings from a community-based survey of 4279 reproductive-aged women in current partnerships in the Rakai District of Uganda carried out in 1998-99. One in four women in our study report having experienced coercive sex with their current male partner, with most women reporting its occasional occurrence. In a regression analysis of risk factors for coercive sex, conventional socio-demographic characteristics emerged as largely unpredictive of the risk of coercive sex. Behavioral risk factors-most notably, younger age of women at first intercourse and alcohol consumption before sex by the male partner-were strongly and positively related to the risk of coercive sex. Coercive sex was also strongly related to perceptions of the male partner's HIV risk, with women who perceived their partner to be at highest risk experiencing almost three times the risk of coercive sex relative to low risk partnerships. Supplemental analysis of 1-year longitudinal data provides additional support for the hypothesis that coercive sex may frequently be a consequence of women's perceptions of increased HIV risk for their male partner. The findings of this study are discussed in terms of the need for sexual violence prevention programs more generally in settings such as Uganda, and in terms of the possible importance of incorporating issues of sexual and physical violence within current HIV prevention programs.
Social Science [?] Medicine 03/2004; 58(4):787-98. · 2.56 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although domestic violence is an increasing public health concern in developing countries, evidence from representative, community-based studies is limited. In a survey of 5109 women of reproductive age in the Rakai District of Uganda, 30% of women had experienced physical threats or physical abuse from their current partner--20% during the year before the survey. Three of five women who reported recent physical threats or abuse reported three or more specific acts of violence during the preceding year, and just under a half reported injuries as a result. Analysis of risk factors highlights the pivotal roles of the male partner's alcohol consumption and his perceived human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) risk in increasing the risk of male against female domestic violence. Most respondents--70% of men and 90% of women--viewed beating of the wife or female partner as justifiable in some circumstances, posing a central challenge to preventing violence in such settings.
Bulletin of the World Health Organisation 02/2003; 81(1):53-60. · 5.11 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: CONTEXTO: Si bien hay un mayor reconocimiento del ámbito y significado del sexo forzado entre las adolescentes en los países en desarrollo, son limitadas las pruebas que existen sobre sus consecuencias con relación a la salud reproductiva.