[The HIV epidemic in Burkina Faso: current status and the knowledge level of the population about AIDS, 1994-1995]

Rev Epidemiol Sante Publique. 1998 Feb;46(1):14-23.
[Article in French]


Background: It is important for HIV/AIDS control programmes to determine population knowledge on AIDS in order to develop appropriate Information, Education and Communication (IEC) messages. The objectives of our study were to determine the seroprevalence of HIV and syphilis among pregnant women, female prostitutes and long-distance truck drivers and to evaluate knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and practice (KABP) with respect to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in these three groups in Burkina Faso.

Methods: We performed three cross-sectional serosurveys including face-to-face interviews on KABP between October 1994 and February 1995 in three population groups.

Results: Overall, 1,294 pregnant women, 236 long-distance truck drivers and 426 female prostitutes were recruited. HIV seroprevalence was 8% (95% Confidence Interval (CI): 6.6-9.6) among pregnant women, 18.6% (95% CI: 13.9-24.2) among long-distance truck drivers and 58.2% (95% CI: 53.4-62.9) in female prostitutes. The prevalence of syphilis was 2.5%, 9.3% and 15%, respectively. Most pregnant women (98%), long-distance truck drivers (96%) and female prostitutes (98%) had already heard of AIDS. However, the level of knowledge of HIV transmission routes, of risk factors for HIV transmission and of available preventive measures was very low. Consequently, 41% of pregnant women, 40% of long-distance truck drivers and an alarming 61% of female prostitutes reported that they did not feel themselves at risk for HIV. In each group, high levels of knowledge on AIDS were associated with increased awareness of AIDS risk and the adoption of preventive behaviours. Level of education was associated with knowledge of AIDS and condom use. However, in the 12 months preceding the surveys, condom use was very low among pregnant women (0.1%), long-distance truck drivers (18%) and among female prostitutes (42%).

Conclusions: These results indicate that HIV is widespread in Burkina Faso and that there is an urgent need to develop and evaluate HIV prevention strategies in the general population and among core groups such as female prostitutes and long-distance truck drivers. Interventions must include information campaigns, condom promotion and distribution, and sexually transmitted diseases control.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome* / epidemiology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome* / prevention & control
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome* / transmission
  • Adult
  • Burkina Faso / epidemiology
  • Condoms
  • Confidence Intervals
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • HIV Seroprevalence
  • Health Behavior
  • Health Education
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Health Promotion
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / epidemiology
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Work
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control
  • Syphilis / epidemiology
  • Transportation