Socio-cultural determinants and impact of HIV infection in the Sudan
Background: Sudan, among the Subsaharan African countries has a low prevalence of HIV infection particularly in the North of the predominantly Muslim population. The peace agreement (2005) which stopped the civil war in the South opened the boarders with the HIV-high prevalence countries of Central and West Africa. This is expected to increase the transmission of HIV in the whole of Sudan. Methods and results: The present study interviewed 635 HIV positive individuals reporting for testing in three voluntary counseling and treatment (VCT) centres in Khartoum. Socio-cultural determinants of the infection showed that the young adults less than 50 years constitute 66.1% of all infected, with 60% males, 40% females and majority 64.9% are either illiterate or had minimum level of education. 61% of them were Muslims and 39% were Christians or non believers, 50.1% were married. The quality of life changed in 89% of individuals.
Conclusion: It is concluded that the infection with HIV in Sudan may increase and health education messages need to be tailored according to the sociocultural determinants of the infection in a multicultural, multi-religious country like the Sudan. Muslims will not be protected against HIV infection unless they adhere to the code of Islam.
Keywords: human immuno-deficiency virus, Muslims, Subsaharan
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