Prior research on HIV infections in Tajikistan and other Central Asian countries has focused primarily on injection drug users. Given the recent rise of heterosexual transmission, especially among women, there is a need to assess women’s knowledge about HIV/AIDS and its methods of prevention and transmission across two time periods to examine cross-time changes and identify areas that need improvements.
Logistic regression and simulation of predicted probability analyses were based on data from Tajik women ranging in age from 15 to 49 who participated in the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) study in 2000 and 2005.
We found that an over 2-fold increase in general knowledge about HIV/AIDS was accompanied by a substantial decrease in the ability to identify correct methods of prevention and to reject myths regarding its transmission.
These alarming findings should prompt policy makers and program implementers to shift the focus of programs from raising general awareness to educating women about how HIV/AIDS is transmitted. Furthermore, rigorous efforts should be made to provide the most disadvantaged groups, including women of younger ages, with lower education, and from poor households with accurate information and adequate access to limited resources.