Community norms for HIV risk behaviors among men in a South African township

SOURCE: Journal of Behavioral Medicine
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
PUBLICATION YEAR: 2011
TITLE AUTHOR(S): K.B.Carey, L.A.J.Scott-Sheldon, M.P.Carey, D.Cain, R.Mlobeli, R.Vermaak, J.Mthembu, L.C.Simbayi, S.C.Kalichman
KEYWORDS: ALCOHOL USE, CONDOM USE, HIV/AIDS, MEN, RISK BEHAVIOUR, SEXUAL BEHAVIOUR, TOWNSHIP, VALUES IN SOCIETY
DEPARTMENT: HIV/AIDS, STIs and TB (HAST)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 6644

If you would like to obtain a copy of this Research Output, please contact Hanlie Baudin at researchoutputs@hsrc.ac.za.

Abstract

We investigated alcohol-related sexual risk behavior from the perspective of social norms theory. Adults (N = 895, 62% men) residing in a South African township completed street-intercept surveys that assessed risk and protective behaviors (e.g., multiple partners, drinking before sex, meeting sex partners in shebeens, condom use) and corresponding norms. Men consistently overestimated the actual frequency of risky behaviors, as reported by the sample, and underestimated the frequency of condom use. Relative to actual attitudes, men believed that other men were more approving of risk behavior and less approving of condom use. Both behavioral and attitudinal norms predicted the respondents' self-reported risk behavior. These findings indicate that correcting inaccurate norms in HIV-risk reduction efforts is worthwhile.