Culture and African contexts of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support

  • CO Airhihenbuwa, Department of Biobehavioral Health, the Pennsylvania State University.
  • J DeWitt Webster Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan School of Public Health.
Keywords: culture, Africa, HIV/AIDS, model, la culture, l’Afrique, le VIH/SIDA, le modèle

Abstract

Culture plays a vital role in determining the level of health of the individual, the family and the community. This is particularly relevant in the context of Africa, where the values of extended family and community significantly influence the behaviour of the individual. The behaviour of the individual in relation to family and community is one major cultural factor that has implications for sexual behaviour and HIV/AIDS prevention and control efforts. As the impact of HIV/AIDS in Africa remains unabated, a culture-centered approach to prevention, care and support is increasingly recognised as a critical strategy. In this article PEN-3, a model developed to centralise culture in health promotion interventions, is presented as a framework to be used in HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support in Africa.The three domains of the PEN-3 model incorporate specific constructs: relationships and expectations, cultural empowerment, and cultural identity.The cultural empowerment and relationships and expectations domains are ‘assessment/appraisal' domains used for cultural assessment. Community identity is the ‘application/transformation' domain that helps the public health practitioner assist the community to identify the point of entry of the intervention. In this paper the authors describe PEN-3 and then present examples of how the assessment/appraisal domains can be utilised to frame HIV/AIDS-related concerns in the context of Africa.

Keywords: culture, Africa, HIV/AIDS, model.

RÉSUMÉ

La culture joue un rôle très important lorsqu'on détermine le niveau de santé d'un individu, d'une famille et d'une communauté. Ce dernier a un rapport particulier dans le contexte Africain où la valeur attribuée à la famille étendue et à la communauté va influencer d'une manière significative le comportement de l'individu. Le comportement de l'individu vis-à-vis la famille et la communauté est un facteur culturel majeur qui a des conséquences sur le comportement sexuel et sur les efforts de prévention ainsi que le contrôle du VIH/SIDA.Vu que l'effet du VIH/SIDA, en Afrique, reste toujours élevé, une approche de prévention, de soin et de soutien basée sur la culture est de plus en plus reconnue comme strategie essentielle à mettre en oeuvre. Dans cet article, le PEN-3, un modèle développé afin de placer la culture au centre des interventions de l'avancement de santé, est présenté comme structure de base qui sera utiliser dans la prévention du VIH/SIDA, aux soins et au soutien en Afrique. Les trois domaines du modèle PEN-3 se constituent: des relations et des attentes, du développement par la culture et d'une identité culturelle. Les deux premiers domaines sont des domaines utilisés lors de l'évaluation culturelle. L'identité culturelle est un domaine de transformation grâce auquel le personnel du service de santé public peut aider la communauté à identifier le point de départ de l'intervention. Dans cette communication, les auteurs décrivent le PEN-3, ensuite, ils démontrent comment les domaines d'évaluation peuvent être utilisés afin de cadrer toutes les préoccupations du VIH/SIDA dans le contexte de l'Afrique.

Mots clés: la culture, l'Afrique, le VIH/SIDA, le modèle.

SAHARA J Vol.1(1) 2004: 4-13

Author Biographies

CO Airhihenbuwa,, Department of Biobehavioral Health, the Pennsylvania State University.
Collins O Airhihenbuwa is a Professor in the Department of Biobehavioral Health, the Pennsylvania State University. He is internationally known for his research on culture and health behaviour. He is the author of a cultural model (PEN-3) for health behaviour with a focus on people of African descents. Among his numerous publications are Health and Culture: Beyond the Western Paradigm published by Sage and UNAIDS Communications Framework for HIV/AIDS: A New Direction published by UNAIDS in Geneva, Switzerland.
J DeWitt Webster, Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan School of Public Health.
J DeWitt Webster is a Research Fellow in the Department of Health Management and Policy, University of Michigan School of Public Health. His research interests include sociocultural factors affecting health outcomes, such as HIV/AIDS, in the USA and other countries. His professional experience includes training of public health professionals in a variety of domestic and international settings.
Published
2004-07-14
Section
Articles

Journal Identifiers


eISSN: 1813-4424
print ISSN: 1729-0376