MPhil study projects

HIV/Aids knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of migrant street vendors in Katutura Central, Windhoek, Namibia

Student: Hilya NN Festus
Country: Namibia

This research investigated the knowledge, attitudes and perceptions concerning HIV/Aids among migrant street vendors in Black Chain, Windhoek, Namibia, an area where many migrant street vendors trade their goods. A total of 55 street vendors, of whom 33 were migrants, participated in the study by way of questionnaires. Measures were taken to ensure strict confidentiality to prevent potential stigma associated with their migrant status.

The findings revealed generally low levels of HIV-related knowledge, with only 42,9% of questions answered correctly. Many participants were ill informed about various HIV-related issues, such as HIV transmission through insect bites, the efficacy of washing genitals after sex to prevent HIV and the belief that traditional healers can cure HIV/Aids. However, participants generally exhibited positive attitudes to HIV-related matters.

Diverse perceptions about condom initiation and availability emerged, with participants divided on whether condom use is solely the responsibility of men. Access to condoms was also perceived variably, with some participants reporting inconsistent availability.

This study underscores the necessity to enhance the HIV/Aids understanding among migrant street vendors and advocates for broader education and awareness initiatives in this community.