Social and Structural Factors Associated with HIV/AIDS Prevention Knowledge Among Youth in Cape Town, South Africa

Whittaker, Spencer [Browse]
Senior thesis
86 pages


Goldman, Noreen [Browse]
Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs [Browse]
Class year
Summary note
HIV/AIDS knowledge and its correlates are an integral part of developing HIV/AIDS risk prevention strategies among young South Africans. This thesis explores some of the social and structural factors that affect such knowledge, asking in particular: Is knowledge of HIV/AIDS prevention methods positively associated with education status, sexual experience, and personal experience with HIV/AIDS? Do these associations vary across racial group? Which groups are most likely to see changes in levels of HIV/AIDS prevention knowledge? These questions are answered with data from the Cape Area Panel Study (CAPS), a longitudinal survey of young South Africans. I explore current school enrollment and/or secondary school graduation, having ever had sex, and knowing somebody with or who has died HIV/AIDS as key correlates of HIV/AIDS knowledge. Furthermore, given the importance of race as a factor in South African life, I expect there to be significant racial variation in the correlates of HIV/AIDS prevention knowledge. Various logit regression analyses are employed to test these associations. Overall, the findings suggest that HIV/AIDS education could be more successful if tailored to specific population groups. Furthermore, the results add racial and prevention method-specific nuances to the findings of previous studies on the correlates of HIV/AIDS prevention knowledge, and also demonstrates the illustrative capabilities of a socio-structural view of HIV/AIDS prevention knowledge.

Supplementary Information