Knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about HIV infection and AIDS among healthy factory workers and their wives, Kinshasa, Zaire

Soc Sci Med. 1991;32(8):917-30. doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(91)90247-a.


As a first step in designing an AIDS prevention program at a large factory in Kinshasa, Zaire, we collected information on attitudes towards human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) from factory foremen and their wives. Trained moderators conducted twelve focus group discussions (from November through December 1987) that addressed knowledge, attitudes and beliefs about HIV infection and AIDS. In general, participants were familiar with HIV infection and AIDS and considered these conditions leading health problems in Kinshasa. Although participants had a fairly accurate understanding of the causes of HIV infection, modes of transmission and preventive measures, many myths and misconceptions existed. Many participants did not believe that condom use would consistently prevent infection through sexual intercourse. Participants strongly favored the counseling of seropositive persons but showed less consensus about whether the spouse of a seropositive person should be notified of the partner's test result. Participants predicted that couples in which one member is seropositive and the other is not would experience marital discord and friction with family, neighbors and co-workers. These findings were applied to the development of a counseling and educational program for seropositive factory employees and their spouses.

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / prevention & control
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / psychology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Contraception Behavior
  • Counseling
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Health
  • Sexual Behavior