Knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding HIV/AIDS and STIs among youths and key populations in informal settlements of Nairobi, Kenya

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Abstract

Kenya is home to one of the worst HIV/AIDS epidemics, with higher prevalence rates in youths in urban slums. We conducted a cross-sectional mixed-methods study in Nairobi informal settlements. The aim was to investigate knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of this marginalized community, and to identify, with a bottom-up approach, the most appropriate interventions to increase the utilization of HIV/STIs services. Preliminary qualitative research was used to draw questionnaires, which assessed: STIs/HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes, and behaviours; access and barriers to STIs/HIV/AIDS services; perceived quality of services; the impact of COVID-19. 1054 respondents completed the questionnaire. 48.3% were youth in the community, 23% youth in school, 16.8% young mothers, 6.9% drug users and 5% people attending a technical-vocational training. We found unsatisfactory knowledge of STIs/HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention, and low condom use, mainly due to difficult access, poverty, and gender-based violence. We also found limited use of health services, and lack of trust due to poor attitude of the staff. COVID-19 has widened barriers to access to health services. To reach this population, it is necessary to implement educational interventions, facilitate access to free condoms, and train health centre staff to be more welcoming. Respondents found proximity strategies more efficient, including door-to-door testing and community outreach

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Authors

Susanna Caminada - 1. Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Francesca Maria Carrani - 1. Department of Public Health and Infectious Diseases, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy

Marco Simonelli - 2. National Centre for Global Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy

Simonetta Crateri - 2. National Centre for Global Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy

Judith Mwikali Musyoka - 3. NO ONE OUT, Nairobi office, Nairobi, Kenya

Richard Muga - NO ONE OUT, Nairobi office, Brescia, Italy

Eric Isyaho Mulinya - NO ONE OUT, Nairobi office, Brescia, Italy

Catherine Onguti - NO ONE OUT, Nairobi office, Brescia, Italy

Grazia Orsolato - Medicus Mundi Italia, Nairobi office, Brescia, Italy

Maria Elena Tosti - National Centre for Global Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy

How to Cite
Caminada, S., Carrani, F. M., Simonelli, M., Crateri, S., Mwikali Musyoka, J., Muga, R., … Tosti, M. E. (2023). Knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding HIV/AIDS and STIs among youths and key populations in informal settlements of Nairobi, Kenya. Annali dell’Istituto Superiore Di Sanità, 59(1). https://doi.org/10.4415/ANN_23_01_12
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