Religiosity for HIV prevention in Uganda: a case study among Muslim youth in Wakiso district
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Evidence for the association between religiosity and HIV infections is limited. Sujda, the hyper-pigmented spot on the forehead due to repeated prostration during prayers and fasting to worship, involving abstaining from food, drink and sex during daytime in Ramadhan and other specified days, are measures of religiosity among Muslims Objectives: To assess the association between religiosity and HIV infections. Methods: This was an unmatched case-control study with 29 HIV positive cases and 116 HIV negative controls, from 1224 Muslims, 15-24 years. Results: Respondents without Sujda had more HIV infections (odds ratio 2.90, 95% CI 1.07-7.86, p=0.029). Those with Sujda were more likely to abstain from sex (odds ratio 1.69, 95% CI 1.31-2.20, p<0.001) and be faithful in marriage (odds ratio 1.69, 95% CI 1.11-2.57, p=0.012). Respondents without Sujda were more likely to have ever taken alcohol before sex (odds ratio 5.00, 95% CI 1.39-17.95, p=0.006) and to have ever used narcotics (odds ratio 2.12, 95% CI, 1.11-4.05, p=0.019). Respondents who fasted less, had more HIV infections (odds ratio 2.46, 95% CI 1.07-5.67, p=0.028). Conclusion: Sujda and fasting were associated with lower HIV infections. Imams should use this information to intensify the Islamic approach to HIV prevention.
- Medical and Health Sciences