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A qualitative study of the psychosocial and contextual understandings of sexual risk behaviors to inform the development of a KABP-survey instrument

Study Status:
South Africa
Male and female community members age 18-40
Aurum Institute for Health Research (AIHR) - Rustenburg, South Africa

Study Summary:
In the attempt to develop measurements for the assessment of HIV/AIDS risk, it is important to understand what constitutes risk for HIV/AIDS from a biomedical perspective but also from a psycho-social perspective within the Southern African context. In-depth interviews were conducted with community members in Bonjanala district to better inform HIV/AIDS risk assessment measures. The data provided clear suggestions for the necessary items to be included in the HIV/AIDS risk assessment instrument.  It also suggested that most of the participants were willing to complete the sexual risk assessment and that they reported feeling at ease to do so. It is possible that they experienced less anxiety in this regard as they were able to complete it themselves. Furthermore, the fact that the interviewers could be identified as working for a legitimate organization could have also contributed to their willingness to participate. It is therefore suggested that attempts need to be made to assist participants to complete the HIV-risk assessment themselves as a way to overcome self-reported bias regarding sexual practices.