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Are People Aware of Their HIV-positive Status Responsible for Driving the Epidemic in Sub-Saharan Africa? The Case of Malawi

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Many have alleged that those who are now aware that they are HIV-positive are driving the epidemic. This article reports the results of a study in Malawi that provides empirical evidence of differences in knowledge, attitudes and behaviour between HIV-positive people and those unaware of their sero-status. It comes to three conclusions: HIV-positive people report better knowledge and attitudes; there is substantially higher safer-sex practice among those aware of their HIV-positive status; and the assertion that the epidemic is spread by those aware of their positive sero-status is unsubstantiated. The overall message is that there is a need to accelerate both HIV testing and positive-prevention work.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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