Africans aware of blood-borne risks have less HIV
Here’s a good reason to pay attention to what’s in this resource: In countries where more people are aware that contaminated instruments are a risk for HIV, people are less likely to be infected. National surveys in 16 countries asked people how to prevent HIV. In these surveys, the percentage of adults who mentioned “avoid sharing razors” as a way to prevent HIV ranged from a low of 10% in Swaziland to almost 50% in Niger and Ethiopia.
In five countries where less than 15% of adults mentioned razors as a risk for HIV (Kenya, Lesotho, Swaziland, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe) the percentage of adults with HIV infections ranged from 5.6% to 26%. On the other hand, in six countries where at least 30% of adults mentioned razors as a risk (Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Niger, Rwanda, and Senegal) the percentage of adults with HIV ranged from 0.8% to 2.9% only (see Figure).
Figure: Percentage of adults with HIV vs. percentage aware of blood-to-blood risks (for a larger version, click on the image)
Percentage of adults with HIV vs. percentage aware of blood-to-blood risks
Note: the equation for the correlation is y = -0.53x + 20.2.
DRC: Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Source: For each country, the percentages of adults who say “avoiding sharing razors” is the average of percentages for men and women from: Brewer DD. Knowledge of blood-borne transmission risk is inversely associated with HIV infection in sub-Saharan Africa. J Infect Dev Ctries 2011; 5: 182-198. Available at: http://jidc.org/index.php/journal/article/view/1308/518 (accessed 7 July 2011). Percentages of adults with HIV are for 2009 from UNAIDS and from national surveys.