Socio-cultural factors influencing accessibility and utilization of HIV/AIDS prevention information among out-of-school adolescents in Rakai District
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This study examined the information channels and the socio¬-cultural factors that influence accessibility to, and utilization of, HIV/AIDS prevention information among out-of-school adolescents in Kyotera County, Rakai District. Specifically, the study sought to examine how social and cultural factors had influenced accessibility and utilization of HIV/AIDS prevention information as well as the nature of information channels used in disseminating HIV/AIDS prevention information to out-of-school adolescents (12-19 years) in the area. A descriptive survey research design was adapted where a total sample of 98 respondents including out-of-school adolescents, health workers and local leaders participated in the study. The primary data was collected using structured questionnaires for adolescents, interview guides for key informants and focus group discussion checklist for local and opinion leaders. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected and analysed. Research findings revealed that social and cultural factors had a negative influence on access and utilization of HIV/AIDS prevention information among out-of-school adolescents in Kyotera County. However, age and gender were significant among the social factors much as widow inheritance and age at marriage were significant among the cultural factors. The nature of HIV/AIDS prevention information disseminated included use of condoms during sexual intercourse, abstinence, being faithful to marriage partners, HIV testing before sexual intercourse and STDs treatment. In order to increase access and utilization of HIV/AIDS prevention information, the study recommended addressing the risky traditional customs and practices, implement interventions to empower females to overcome submissiveness and inferiority in matters concerning their personal health, urging religious leaders to concentrate their efforts on educating people about HIV prevention, involving opinion leaders in behavior change interventions and above all, out-of-school adolescents should be involved in disseminating HIV/AIDS prevention information using approaches that appeal to fellow adolescents.