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[afro-nets] New SOMA-Net Research Publication

  • From: "SOMANET Afol" <somanet@africaonline.co.ke>
  • Date: Thu, 22 Feb 2007 13:52:24 +0300

New SOMA-Net Research Publication

Re-Thinking Research and Intervention approaches That Aim At Preventing HIV Infections Among Youth

This book addresses concern for youth in Kenya and Uganda who are struggling to live in the era of HIV and AIDS. It is based on empirical studies that aim to reverse the trend of this disease. The book highlights the challenge of understanding the myriad of contexts in which youth make decisions on issues of sex and sexuality.

SOMA-Net was supported by Sida/SAREC in a program that funds AIDS-based research in Africa. This program supports African researchers both in and outside universities in order to find locally based solutions to HIV and AIDS, while simultaneously building a research capacity that deals with the AIDS pandemic.

The main argument presented here is that youth are very knowledgeable about HIV and AIDS transmission and prevention, but lack the contexts in which to use their knowledge effectively. The research was conducted to understand these contexts, using dialogic methods that create space for reflective learning by both the researchers and their subjects. These methods provide insight into the latent knowledge and salient issues that traditional knowledge, attitude, practice, and behaviour (KAPB) studies do not.

The latent knowledge emerging from these studies was not adequately addressed using current intervention strategies that focus on abstinence, faithfulness, and condom use (ABC), or voluntary testing and counseling (VCT). This may be because ABC and VCT interventions are based on the model of Information, Education, and Communication (IEC) that directs individuals to change their behaviour, rather than on understanding the complex social contexts in which individuals live and deal with their sexuality.

The results also indicate that actors and change agents provide conflicting information about HIV and AIDS that has led to confusion, especially in youth of a more tender age. In an attempt to make sense of the information, young people have constructed meanings that enhance their risk of becoming infected. In older youth, mixed information, combined with their own experiences of HIV and AIDS, has led them to normalize the pandemic instead of helping them to change their behaviour.

In conclusion, the book argues that we re-think the way HIV and AIDS research and intervention strategies are carried out. It questions the relevance and adequacy of current policy practices that address latent and salient knowledge and reflects the emerging dynamics.

These findings are relevant for policy makers, implementers in various government line ministries, decision makers within the National Aids Control Councils (NACCs), non government organisations (NGOs), funding agencies, donors, academics, and researchers.

For Printed copies of the Research Publication please contact:

P. O. Box 20811, Nairobi 00202 KENYA
Tel: +254 02 600568 / 605472
Fax: +254 02 605472
Mobile: +254 722417996
Email: mailto:somanet@africaonline.co.ke or mailto:somanet@wananchi.com
Website: http://www.somanet.org