Friday, July 13, 2007
This presentation is part of : Models of Child and Adolescent Health
A Qualitative Study of the Perceptions and Beliefs About Health Protective Sexual Communication Among Young Women in Gaborone, Botswana the Prevention of HIV/AIDS
Mabel K. M. Magowe, BEd, MSc, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA, Marcia M. Holstad, DSN, Family Community Nursing, Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, Atlanta, GA, USA, and Ora Lea Strickland, PhD, RN, FAAN, Family & Community Nursing, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA.
Learning Objective #1: understand the process of conducting a theory-based qualitative research study.
Learning Objective #2: acquire information on the perceptions and beliefs about health protective sexual communication among young women in Gaborone, Botswana in the context of HIV/AIDS prevention


            Botswana, with a rate of 33.5 % among pregnant women, ranks second in HIV infection worldwide. Increased heterosexual transmission among young women is especially concerning. The use of health protective sexual communication (HPSC) (communication that has health protective consequences between intimate sexual partners), can enhance the use of other HIV preventive methods.

            This paper presents results of a qualitative study done in Gaborone, Botswana, June-August 2006 to explore perceptions and beliefs of young women about HPSC for HIV prevention. The Theory of Planned Behavior guided the study.


            The study used the qualitative description method. The sample consisted of 42 women aged 18-35 years with current male sex partners who attended maternal/child clinics in Gaborone. Twenty individual interviews using a semi-structured interview guide, and 3 focus groups of 6-8 women using a scripted discussion guide with 6 sexual behavior scenarios were conducted. Data were analyzed for themes and sub-themes. Results

            Main themes were: the meaning of, beliefs about, perceptions about, and outcomes of HPSC. Key sub-themes were advantages and disadvantages of, ease or difficulty with, and effectiveness of HPSC in adhering to safer sex practices, facilitators and barriers to HPSC, and outcome behaviors (sexual practices). Their sexual partners were the most significant referent influencing safer sex discussions. Women used different strategies to talk about safer sex, but did not always obtain cooperation from their partners to use safer sex strategies. Facilitators of HPSC were: a loving committed partner, a long-term relationship, knowledge about HIV/AIDS/STD transmission and antiretroviral therapy, knowing someone who had AIDS, social support, and participating in prevention programs. Barriers were partner’s non-response and failure to comply with safer sex practices.


            This data will be used to derive items for the development of an instrument to measure HPSC in young Botswana women to guide interventions to promote HPSC.