Perceptions of factors associated with condom use to prevent HIV/AIDS among persons with physical disability in an urban town of Cameroon: a qualitative study

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Elvis E. Tarkang *
Awolu Adam
Maragret Kweku
(*) Corresponding Author:
Elvis E. Tarkang | ebeyang1@yahoo.com

Abstract

Persons with disabilities have been identified as one of the groups vulnerable to HIV, due to several challenges posed by their disabilities. They also suffer external stigma from their able bodied peers. However, they have largely been ignored as part of HIV prevention programs, largely due to the perceptions that they are not at risk, and information is not being accessible. About 5.4% of the Cameroon population lives with a disability. In Cameroon, no official statistics exist on perception of factors associated with condom use to prevent HIV among persons with disabilities, which creates a challenge for understanding the extent of the pandemic in this population. The objective of this study was therefore to investigate perceptions of factors associated with condom use among persons with physical disability in an urban town of Cameroon. The qualitative study from which this paper is based, used semi-structured in-depth interviews, conducted with a purposive sample of ten (5 male and 5 female) persons with physical disability, aged 18 years and above, in April 2015. The findings of this study as interpreted according to the components of the Health Belief Model, indicated that perceived susceptibility to HIV, perceived severity of HIV, perceived benefit of condom use, perceived barriers to condom use and perceived self-efficacy for condom use were the factors perceived by persons with physical disability, to be associated with condom use. It is therefore recommended that there should be educational programs in HIV/AIDS targeted specifically at persons with physical disability. These programs should pertinently promote the understanding and perceptions of persons with physical disability of the real threat of HIV/AIDS, and also equip them with condom negotiation skills and strategies to overcome barriers to condom use.

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