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Female genital mutilation and behavioral aversion of HIV/AIDS testing in West Africa

Author: 
Stanley Nkemjika, Fanta Kalle, Eamon Aghania, Jason Lee, Rula Saeed and Christina Rozario
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: Although some studies have recorded phobias, depression, and sexual disorders; FGM has been ignored as representing a violation of someone’s physical intactness, and classified as a psychological trauma according to DSM-IV. Study aims: We examined relationships between the FGM trauma and behavioral likelihood of not getting tested for HIV/AIDS in four African countries adjusting for age, level of education, religion and marital status. Methods: This study utilized secondary database analysis of the de-identified and publicly available Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 4 data for the period between 2009- 2011. A Cross-Sectional study was conducted for women with birth history using the data from Nigeria (n=19938), Ghana (n=8961), Togo (n=6013) and Sierra Leone (n=7945). Results: FGM victims in West Africa were significantly more likely to avoid acquisition of HIV testing or screening with a crude OR of 2.263 ([95% CI, 2.099–2.440]; P ≤0.05).The estimated adjusted OR remained significant with an estimated value of 1.279 ([95% CI, 1.180–1.387]; P ≤0.05). Conclusions: In this population representing women with birth there is a significant relationship between FGM and probable behavioral default or aversion to HIV screening methods as more women with FGM reported not to go for HIV screening.

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