Perception of risk, sexual behaviour and STD/HIV prevalence in Western Kenya

K. K. Wools, D. Menya, F. Muli, D. Heilman, R. Jones

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the feasibility and acceptability of collecting data on sexual practices, knowledge, attitudes and perception of risk with regard to HIV and STD infection in two clinic populations. Design: A cross sectional survey carried out between June and July 1992. Setting: An urban and a rural health centre in western Kenya. Subjects: One hundred and sixty women attending Maternal Child Health (MCH) and Family Planning Clinics (FP). Interventions: Screening STDs including N. gonorrhoea, C. trachomatis, T. vaginalis and syphilis. In addition subjects were interviewed about sexual practices, knowledge, attitudes and perception of risk with regard to HIV and STD infection. Results: The presence of any STD including HIV was detected in 36.2% of women at the urban clinic and 21.2% of women at the rural clinic. The demographics of the two populations were similar with respect to age but were significantly different for several variables including marital status, ethnicity and education. Knowledge of STDs and HIV was nearly universal in both clinic populations with >96% of patients being aware of the existence of such diseases. 76.3% of women at the urban clinic felt they could get an STD as compared to 48.8% at the rural clinic (p<0.02). This awareness of vulnerability among the urban populaiton was also seen for HIV. Conclusion: It appears to be feasible to conduct studies of sexual practices and perceptions of risk for STD/HIV acquisition in women attending health centres in Kenya.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-683
Number of pages5
JournalEast African medical journal
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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