Misconceptions are a major barrier to managing and stopping the spread of AIDS, and they cause a negative attitude towards people stricken by this serious disease that might result in grave harm to their physical and emotional spirit. This study aimed to identify determinants about misconceptions of HIV transmission among Ethiopian married women.
A cross-sectional study was conducted using the 2016 Ethiopian Demographic and Health Survey (EDHS) data set. The samples were selected using a two-stage stratified cluster sampling technique. The data were analyzed with SPSS version 24. Multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed to identify independent predictors of misconception about HIV transmission. An adjusted odds ratio with a 95% confidence interval and P-value <0.05 were considered to declare a statistically significant association.
Of the samples of 8893 reproductive-age women, 34%, 18.5%, and 14.5% of women believed that mosquito bites, food sharing with an individual who is HIV seropositive, and witchcraft or supernatural means, respectively, were responsible for the acquisition of HIV/AIDS. Women residing in rural areas (AOR=1.52; 95% CI=1.13–2.0), did not attend education (AOR=2.36; 95% CI=1.3–4.23), attended primary education (AOR=1.8; 95% CI=1.03–3.21), unemployed (AOR=1.17; 95% CI=1.04–1.37), and had no media access (AOR= 1.34; 95% CI=1.14–1.58) were positively associated with the misconception that mosquito bites can transmit HIV.
Misconceptions are highly prevalent and increase the likelihood of the HIV epidemic in Ethiopia. This research revealed that women residing in a rural area, who did not have education, did not have access to media, who were catholic and Muslim religion followers, had not ever been tested for HIV, and unemployed women were strongly associated with a misconception about HIV transmission. Therefore, interventional health education programs should be taken into account to eradicate misconceptions about HIV.