Religiosity for HIV prevention in Uganda: a case study among Christian youth in Wakiso district
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Utilization of religious institutions is one of the strategies for HIV prevention in Uganda. There is limited data on the association between religiosity and HIV infection rates. Objective: To determine the association between religiosity and HIV prevalence rates among Christians. Methods: An unmatched case-control study was done. Data from 106 HIV positive cases and 424 HIV negative controls between 15- 24 years were analyzed. Results: Lower religiosity was associated with higher HIV infection rates when the following dimensions were analyzed: feeling guided by God in daily activities (odds ratio 1.90, 95%CI 1.03-3.50, p=0.035), feeling thankful for God’s blessings (odds ratio 1.76, 95%CI 1.01-3.11, p=0.042), praying privately (odds ratio 2.02, 95%CI 1.30-3.11, p=0.001), trying hard to be patient in life (odds ratio1.74, 95%CI 1.07-2.84, p=0.024) and trying hard to love God (odds ratio 1.57, 95%CI 1.01-2.42, p=0.039). Higher HIV infection rates were associated with having multiple life-time sexual partners (odds ratio 5.37, 95%CI 1.86- 15.47, p<0.001), ever drinking alcohol (odds ratio 2.28, 95%CI 1.43-3.65, p<0.001) and ever using narcotics for recreation (odds ratio 2.49, 95%CI 1.14-5.44, p=0.018). Conclusion: Lower levels of several dimensions religiosity are significantly associated with higher HIV infection rates. This data supports strengthening religiosity in HIV prevention strategies.
- Medical and Health Sciences