Media Exposure, Behavioural Risk Factors and HIV Testing among Women of Reproductive Age in Papua New Guinea: A Cross-Sectional Study

Trop Med Infect Dis. 2022 Feb 18;7(2):30. doi: 10.3390/tropicalmed7020030.


Background: Reproductive health remains a major health concern in developing countries such as Papua New Guinea (PNG). The prevalence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in PNG is the highest in the Southern Pacific region, with women having a higher risk of contracting the infection. Hence, there have been several policies aimed at mitigating the spread of the disease. One of these policies include the use of mass media as a health promotion tool to educate the population on the risk of the disease. Therefore, this study aimed at investigating the association of mass media to HIV testing among women.

Methods: Data were obtained from the PNG Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) of 2019. A total of 15,005 reproductive-age women was included in this analysis.

Results: The results showed that women with low (aOR = 1.63, 95% CI: 1.39, 1.90) and high (aOR = 1.53, 95% CI: 1.36, 1.72) media exposure were more likely to undertake HIV testing compared to those with no media exposure. Compared to no education, women with incomplete primary (aOR = 1.22, 95% CI: 1.06, 1.40), complete primary (aOR = 1.56, 95% CI: 1.30, 1.87), incomplete secondary (aOR = 2.18, 95% CI: 1.85, 2.58), complete secondary (aOR= 2.33, 95% CI: 1.77, 3.09) and higher (aOR = 3.38, 95% CI: 2.57, 4.46) education were more likely to undertake HIV testing. Compared to women with the poorest wealth index, women with richer indexes were more likely to undertake HIV testing. Women living in rural areas were less likely to undertake HIV testing (aOR = 0.72, 95% CI: 0.63, 0.82). However, marital status, knowledge of transmission and religion were not associated with HIV testing.

Conclusion: In conclusion, this study provides strong evidence that mass media exposure increases the likelihood of HIV testing in women of reproductive age in PNG. Mass media campaigns would serve as a cost-effective health promotion tool against the spread of disease.

Keywords: HIV; Papua New Guinea; awareness; knowledge; mass media.