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The prevalence of HIV in the adult population in slum areas in Nairobi, Kenya, is higher than for residents in the city as a whole. This disparity suggests that the characteristics of slum areas may adversely influence the HIV-prevention strategies directed at reducing the national
prevalence of HIV. The objective of the study was to identify some of the sociodemographic and behavioural correlates of HIV-status awareness among the adult population of two slums in Nairobi. In a household-based survey conducted by the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC),
4 767 men and women aged between 15 and 54 years were randomly sampled from two slums (Korogocho and Viwandani) in Nairobi and data were collected on the social and health context of HIV and AIDS in these settlements. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to
identify factors associated with HIV-status awareness. The proportion of respondents that had ever been tested and knew their HIV status was 53%, with the women having greater awareness of their HIV status (62%) than the men (38%). Awareness of HIV status was significantly associated with
age, sex, level of education, marital status and slum of residence. The lower level of HIV-status awareness among the men compared with the women in the slums suggests a poor uptake of HIV-testing services by males. Innovative strategies are needed to ensure greater access and uptake of HIV-testing
services by the younger and less-educated residents of these slums if the barriers to HIV-status awareness are to be overcome.