Knowledge about modifiable risk factors for non-communicable diseases adults living with HIV in Rwanda
Background: Non-communicable diseases (NCD) are of international public health concern. Of more concern are people living with HIV (PLHIV), who have the increased risk of developing NCDs, such as hypertension, stroke and diabetes. Research has revealed that there is a relationship between knowledge of NCD risk factors and risk perceptions in the general population. Therefore, an assessment of PLHIV’s NCD risk factors knowledge is quite critical, to design effective NCD prevention programmes.
Objective: To assess the level of knowledge of modifiable risk factors for NCDs and its associated factors among adults living with HIV in Rwanda.
Methods: A cross-sectional quantitative design was used to collect the data. The study targeted PLHIV who visited the out-patients’ public health centres in three purposively selected provinces of Rwanda. The knowledge assessment questionnaire relating to risk factors for chronic diseases of lifestyle was used to collect the data. Data were analysed using SPSS version 23.
Results: Of the 794 respondents, 64.6% were women, and the mean age was 37.9 (±10.8) years. The results revealed that the majority of the respondents (65.0%) had low levels of knowledge about NCD risk factors, while some (35.6%) were of the opinion that they had a low risk of contracting NCDs. Good knowledge was significantly associated with high educational status, a low CD4+ cell count (< 350 cells/mm3) and normotension.
Conclusion: The current study findings highlight the need for comprehensive health education, to raise awareness of non-communicable diseases’ risk factors for adults living with HIV in Rwanda.
Keywords: Non-communicable diseases, Risk factors, HIV infection, Knowledge, Rwanda.
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