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Citation Information

Type Thesis or Dissertation - Master of Public Health
Title A Social Ecological Approach: Understanding the Factors Associated with HIV Risk in Fishing Communities in Lake Victoria, Uganda.
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2014
URL http://digitalcommons.uconn.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1588&context=gs_theses
Uganda has an estimated 1.4 million Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) -
positive adults (United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS [UNAIDS], 2011). The initial
cases of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) in Uganda were identified in
fishing villages on the shores of Lake Victoria in 1985 (Serwadda et al., 1985). Fishing
villages continue to remain at high risk of HIV transmission (United Nations Program
on HIV/AIDS [UNAIDS], 2012). Evidence suggests that the HIV- prevalence rates
among fishermen and commercial sex workers (CSWs) in the Wakiso District are more
than 20 percent (Alex, Michael, & Nordin, 2011). The purpose of this study was to
understand the factors associated with HIV risk in fishing communities in the Wakiso
District of Lake Victoria in Uganda using the social ecological model (Stokols, 1995).
Eight focus groups (n=50) were conducted to understand the dynamics of these
communities in Lake Victoria, Uganda. The focus groups were composed of six or
seven individuals. Two focus groups were conducted with fishermen, fishmongers and
alcohol sellers. One focus group was conducted with commercial sex workers and one
other focus group was with restaurant ors. The data showed that negative health
behavior factors were present at all levels of the social ecological model (intrapersonal,
interpersonal, community, & policy) in the fishing communities and are a driving force
in the increased HIV risk of individuals. Understanding these social ecological factors
can guide targeted multi-level interventions to achieve a decrease in new HIV
infections in fishing communities.

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