Title: The effectiveness of HIV/AIDS prevention through sport: the case of Mathare Youth Sport Association in Kenya
Authors: Michielsen, Kristien
Meulders, Bert
Delva, Wim
Groeninck, Sandy
Temmerman, Marleen
Vanreusel, Bart #
Issue Date: Sep-2009
Host Document: AIDS Impact. Botswana 2009
Conference: AIDS Impact edition:9 location:Gaborone, Botswana date:22-25 September 2009
Article number: 215
Abstract: Aim:
Youth sport programmes have been proposed as feasible, accessible, affordable and efficacious vehicles for HIV prevention. In Kenya, the Mathare Youth Sport Association (MYSA) has integrated sport and life skills through peer education, peer counseling, games, drama, and other cultural and recreational activities in an attempt to prevent HIV infections among Kenyan youth. The objective of the study is to assess the effectiveness of the MYSA HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness programme on sexual behaviour of youth and determinants thereof.
Method / Issue:
The effectiveness of the MYSA HIV/AIDS programme was evaluated using a cross-sectional study design comparing an intervention and control group. Data were collected using self-administered questionnaires. The questionnaire included sections yielding information about the demographic profile, knowledge about HIV/AIDS, attitudes, intentions and behaviours related to condom use, sexual relationships and voluntary HIV counselling and testing. Participants were eligible if they were between 12 and 24 years old. For the intervention group, people from all the MYSA zones were asked to participate. Respondents in the control group were recruited via schools, youth clubs, orphan homes, and social organisations in the MYSA zones. Data were collected between July and October 2007. A total of 775 questionnaires were administered: 441 in the intervention group and 334 in the control group. Linear and logistic multiple regression analysis was performed using SPSS to assess the effect of MYSA on HIV-related knowledge, attitudes and sexual behaviour, adjusting for potential confounders.
Results / Comments:
The average age of respondents was 16.2 year for the intervention and 16.4 years for the control group. The majority of respondents were males (66.5%). The intervention group contained significantly more men than the control group (74.3% versus 56.3%; P < 0.001). The intervention group contained more respondents of the Kikuyu ethnic group, while the Luo’s were more prevalent in the control group. No group differences were found concerning living situation and religion. MYSA members felt more confident talking about sex with their peers and shared more favourable social norms concerning condom use. Additionally, intervention youth had a slightly higher score on the knowledge scale. Consistent condom use with the current or last partner was not significantly higher among the intervention group compared to the control group (20.2% versus 16.0%; P = 0.32). Further, no differences were observed concerning ever having had sex, age of sexual debut, condom use at first and last sexual intercourse and the number of partners in last year. Close to 25% of all respondents had more than three partners in the last year, and the same amount admitted to having had concurrent relationships.
Risky sexual behaviour, characterized by low levels of consistent condom use, high partner turnover rates and engagement in concurrent relationships, was highly prevalent in both groups. The findings provide no proof for success of MYSA in significantly changing risky behaviour with regard to HIV. However, sport-for-development programmes may contribute indirectly towards HIV prevention through the creation of an environment that is conducive to changing social norms and in which sex can be discussed more easily.
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IMa
Appears in Collections:Research Centre for Sociocultural Kinesiology and Sport Management (-)
Exercise Physiology Research Group
Policy in Sports & Physical Activity Research Group
# (joint) last author

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