International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

The Influence of Socio-Cultural Factors on Communication and Women Participation in HIV and AIDS Campaigns in Kenya1
Joan KOECH, Harrison MAITHYA, Vincent. MUANGE

HIV and AIDS is currently a major health, social and economic problem in Kenya. Conrolling the problem will largely depend on preventive measures that are based on sound communication, information and education strategies. This paper discusses the influence of socio-cultural factors on communication and women participation in the campaigns against HIV and AIDS among the Nandi of Western Kenya. Among the Nandi as is the case with other communities in Kenya, discussion of sex and sexuality is taboo and cultural practices and expectations hinder effective dissemination of HIV and AIDS messages. Women have low access to HIV and AIDS preventive messages due to attitudes, beliefs and practices that inhibit effective communication between them and the providers of HIV/AIDS information. To meaningfully involve women in the campaigns against HIV/AIDS in Kenya, HIV and AIDS information providers and educators need to design a comprehensive gender responsive communication strategies and programmes that are culturally sensitive.

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