Knowledge, attitudes and risk perception of Genital Herpes among people aged 15-49 years in Kayunga District
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Background: Genital herpes has an epidemiological synergistic relationship with HIV. Therefore there is need to curb its spread through design of appropriate messages, dispelling myths and misconceptions by targeting the vulnerable populations. This study was conducted to assess knowledge, attitudes and risk perception of the general population towards genital herpes in Kayunga, Uganda. Methodology: A cross sectional study was carried out among 450 respondents aged 15 – 49 years in Kayunga District. Interviewer administered questionnaires and focus group guides were utilised to collect the desired data. Proportions were used to describe levels of knowledge, attitudes and risk perceptions of genital herpes. Results: About 34.4% (155/450) of the individuals were aware of genital herpes. Service/clinic providers were considered the main source of information on genital herpes. Of the 155 respondents who were aware of genital herpes, 62.6% had sufficient knowledge about genital herpes, 69% had negative attitudes towards genital herpes and 67.7% had low risk perception of genital herpes. Conclusion: We found low community awareness, negative attitudes mainly characterized by stigma and low risk perception to genital herpes. There is need for an integrated approach to dispel the myths and misconceptions about genital herpes through community education.