Community-Based Interventions and Behaviors of HIV+ Persons in Congo-Kinshasa

  •  Max Ebengho-Bokelo    
  •  Jeremy Super-Eloko    


Introduction: Sub-Saharan African communities bear the highest burden of HIV/AIDS in the world. Because of identifiable cultural links and local beliefs, people are more likely to engage in sexual mores that could negatively impact their life. Starting in early 2000, Congolese HIV+ patients have undergone a variety of medico-social inputs designed to decrease risky behaviors among people in the program and their family members.
Goals: This inquiry aimed to understand how PLWHs assess the influence of community-based incentives within their society, as primarily conceived to improve daily behaviors of each person living with HIV (PLWH), and a few selected family members with unknown HIV-serostatus.
Methods: From December 2020 to March 2021, a cross-sectional study was engaged to gather qualitative-driven information from nine in-depth interviews, three focus groups, and two key-informant interviews. Changes were self-assessed through data gotten from 2004-2014 in sexual cleansing, levirate and sororate marriage, Kintwidi phenomenon, stigma and discrimination, sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) and female genital mutilation (FGM), unprotected receptive vaginal or anal intercourse, and behavioral rejection of condoms throughout a decade of Congolese Community-based Interventions (CBIs) implemented from 2004. Grounded on the socioecological model (SEM), this ethnographic study was based on the meaning of the influence of CBIs on cultural behaviors among PLWHs for HIV/AIDS prevention purposes.
Results: Data from Kinshasa and Bandundu were coded and analyzed through NVivo R1 and Excel, showing significant negative sentiments for all eight key-cultural components in PLWHs.
Conclusion: Out of the holistic approach employed to tackle HIV/AIDS in communities, the comprehensive strategy enabled for social change in Congo-Kinshasa brought specific impactful insights in terms of behavior according to interviewed PLWHs. Findings could be used to inform further preventive activities to alleviate any community HIV burden in sub-Saharan Africa.

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