Gender related factors influencing the utilization of sexually transmitted disease treatment services: A case of Nyendo-Senyange Division, Masaka District
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Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are infections which are spread from one person to another through sexual intercourse. This problem of Sexually Transmitted Diseases calls for concern because of the way they spread and the failure by the patients to adhere to treatment guidelines. STDs take two, a man and a woman having a union. This study concentrates on the gender related factors that influence the utilization of Sexually Transmitted Disease treatment services. The objective of the study is to examine how access and control over resources influences accessibility and utilization of STD treatment services. In this aspect the study has to assess how power relations influence access and use of the STD treatment services, to assess how the gender division of labour influences access and use of the STD treatment services and finally to assess how other factors i.e. social, cultural, knowledge and attitude affect access to and use of STD treatment services. The overall objective of the study is to find out the factors that influence the utilization of Sexually Transmitted Disease Treatment services. The study further examines the hindrances to equal access and utilization of STD treatment services between males and females. A questionnaire was administered to a total of 160 respondents, both female and male of ages 15years and above and 40 key informants were interviewed. Nyendo-Senyange division was purposively selected and a multi-stage sampling design was used. The study was descriptive in nature and used qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection. The findings of the study showed that gender relations (division of labour, access and control over resources and power relations) highly influenced utilization of STD treatment services. Though partner notification was found to be important, the issue of being regarded unfaithful created a hindrance to utilization of STD treatment services. The education level for females was noted to be lower than that of male respondents, probably due to dropping out of school. The study recommended sensitization of men on problems of women, community outreach programs, subsidizing of private clinics that treat STDs, increased Information, Education and Communication (IEC) and policy formulation, all geared towards testing and treatment of STDs.