Misconceptions about how HIV can be transmitted or prevented often prevent individuals from making informed choices and taking appropriate action. The purpose of the research was to explore the socio-demographic and behavioural factors in Botswana that are associated with misconceptions about HIV prevention and transmission. The data used were from the Botswana AIDS Impact Survey II conducted in 2004, which constitutes a nationally representative sample. Results from bivariate and multivariate analyses show that young people, males, the less-educated, those who did not use a condom during their last instance of sexual intercourse, and those who believe that nothing can be done to reduce HIV infection are most likely to harbour misconceptions about how HIV can be prevented and transmitted. Since misconceptions may prevent people from making informed choices, intervention programmes aimed at HIV prevention should aim to dispel misconceptions about HIV and AIDS as an important part of their strategy. Targeted HIV prevention and education programmes are needed in an effort to dispel such misconceptions and likewise to address the needs of different population sub-groups.
African Journal of AIDS Research 2007, 6(2): 193–198