African Journal of Reproductive Health

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Persistence of Risky Sexual Behaviours and HIV/AIDS: Evidence from Qualitative Data in Three Nigerian Communities

Olayiwola Erinosho, Uche Isiugo-Abanihe, Richard Joseph, Nkem Dike


The behavioural factors that are driving HIV/AIDS remain largely elusive despite vast number of quantitative studies. It is widely acknowledged that sensitive issues like sexual mores are better studied, using the qualitative methods. An ethnographic semi-longitudinal study was conducted in three of Nigeria’s communities with high and/or low HIV/AIDS prevalence rates in order to ascertain the risky behavioural factors that are still driving the epidemic despite colossal investment in preventative programmes. The focus group discussion, in-depth interview and key informant methods were utilized to gather data from members of the communities, opinion leaders, policymakers, healthcare practitioners and religious leaders. The nine factors that appear to be driving the infection are: transactional sex, age of sexual debut and lack of parental care, misconceptions about HIV and AIDS, sexual partnership beyond spouses and primary partners, mismatched sexual desire, fatalism, syndrome of denial, condom use, and alcohol. The outcomes of the study have implications for the prevention of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the country.

Keywords: Behavioural; Risky sexual behaviour; Ethnographic; Qualitative and quantitative methods

Afr J Reprod Health 2012; 16[1]:113-123

AJOL African Journals Online