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Free Content Traditional practices and exposure to bodily fluids in Lusaka, Zambia

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Summary Objectives  To ascertain if there are specific sociocultural and behavioural practices associated with the exposure to saliva, semen and vaginal fluids, particularly through child-rearing practices and the use of traditional medicine in Lusaka, Zambia. Methods  We conducted 11 focus group discussions with men and women from diverse ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds ( = 105) in Lusaka, Zambia in March 2004. We also conducted a brief sociodemographic survey of all focus group participants. Results  Discussions indicated that saliva was used while engaging in home health care practices associated with childcare and the use of traditional medicine. Additionally, semen and vaginal fluids may be used in rituals associated with childcare and health care for children. Our survey indicated that the use of traditional medicine is associated with lower socioeconomic status. Conclusions  Population-based studies are needed to evaluate the relationship between traditional behavioural and sociocultural practices, which involve exchange of saliva and other bodily fluids and risk of infectious disease.


Vérifier si des pratiques spécifiques socioculturelles et comportementales sont associées avec l'exposition à la salive, au sperme et aux secrétions vaginales, particulièrement dans les pratiques pour l’élevage des enfants et dans la médecine traditionnelle à Lusaka en Zambie. Methodes 

Nous avons mené 11 séances de discussion de groupe focalisée avec des hommes et des femmes de diverses sources ethniques et socioéconomiques (n = 105) à Lusaka en Zambie en mars 2004. Nous avons aussi mené une brève enquête sociodémographique sur tous les participants des groupes de discussion focalisée. Resultats 

La salive est utilisée dans les pratiques à domicile pour des soins de médicine traditionnelle. Le sperme et les secrétions vaginales peuvent aussi être utilisés dans les pratiques rituelles pour les soins et la santé des enfants. L'usage de la médecine traditionnelle est associéà un statut socioéconomique plus faible. Conclusions 

Des études de population sont nécessaires pour évaluer la relation entre les comportements traditionnels et les pratiques socioculturelles impliquant des échanges de salive et autres fluides corporels avec le risque de maladies infectieuses.

Keywords: Afrique subsaharienne; HHV-8/KSHV; Kaposi's sarcoma; Saliva; Sarcoma de Kaposi; saliva; salive; sarcome de Kaposi; sub-Saharan Africa; África sub-Sahariana

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-3156.2006.01760.x

Affiliations: 1:  Department of Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA 2:  Department of Pediatrics, University Teaching Hospital, University of Zambia, Lusaka, Zambia 3:  Department of Pediatrics, University of Miami, Miami, FL, USA 4:  Department of Virology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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