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Perception of vulnerability to HIV infection among older people in Nairobi Kenya: a need for intervention

Perception of vulnerability to HIV infection among older people in Nairobi Kenya: a need for intervention
Perception of vulnerability to HIV infection among older people in Nairobi Kenya: a need for intervention
It is evident that sexual activity tends to decrease with age. Nonetheless, it is still prevalent enough to be considered a risk factor for the spread of HIV among older people. This paper uses quantitative data for 2053 individuals to examine HIV risk perception and correlates of perceived risk among older people aged 50 years and older living in Nairobi slums. It emerged that a majority of older people did not consider themselves at risk of infection. Of those who felt at risk, a greater proportion sensed only a small chance of contracting HIV. Women cited ‘no sexual activity’ while men mentioned ‘having only one and/or a faithful sexual partner’ as the primary reasons for perceiving minimal risk of HIV infection. There were no differences by sex in the basis for perceiving moderate-to-great risk of infection. Religion is a key factor in risk perception with Muslims perceiving higher levels of risk and, conversely, devotees irrespective of faith perceiving lower levels of risk. Older people willing to be tested for HIV had a decreased likelihood of perceived risk compared with those unwilling to be tested. This paper recommends evaluation of older people's perception of risk in order to better inform interventions aimed at minimizing their vulnerability to HIV infection.
0021-9320
249-266
Langat, Gloria
4a386fed-03ca-4791-827a-ec7a7950530c
Langat, Gloria
4a386fed-03ca-4791-827a-ec7a7950530c

Langat, Gloria (2013) Perception of vulnerability to HIV infection among older people in Nairobi Kenya: a need for intervention. Journal of Biosocial Science, 45 (2), 249-266. (doi:10.1017/S0021932012000417).

Record type: Article

Abstract

It is evident that sexual activity tends to decrease with age. Nonetheless, it is still prevalent enough to be considered a risk factor for the spread of HIV among older people. This paper uses quantitative data for 2053 individuals to examine HIV risk perception and correlates of perceived risk among older people aged 50 years and older living in Nairobi slums. It emerged that a majority of older people did not consider themselves at risk of infection. Of those who felt at risk, a greater proportion sensed only a small chance of contracting HIV. Women cited ‘no sexual activity’ while men mentioned ‘having only one and/or a faithful sexual partner’ as the primary reasons for perceiving minimal risk of HIV infection. There were no differences by sex in the basis for perceiving moderate-to-great risk of infection. Religion is a key factor in risk perception with Muslims perceiving higher levels of risk and, conversely, devotees irrespective of faith perceiving lower levels of risk. Older people willing to be tested for HIV had a decreased likelihood of perceived risk compared with those unwilling to be tested. This paper recommends evaluation of older people's perception of risk in order to better inform interventions aimed at minimizing their vulnerability to HIV infection.

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More information

Published date: March 2013
Organisations: Sociology, Social Policy & Criminology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 339052
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/339052
ISSN: 0021-9320
PURE UUID: 3859e276-699b-4b92-b0a2-9adc94a373d5
ORCID for Gloria Langat: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6782-363X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 22 May 2012 11:30
Last modified: 20 Jul 2019 00:55

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