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Despite symptoms, many Zimbabweans in Botswana delay the treatment for STIs in the name of faith

Lesego Selotlegeng.

Background: Botswana is experiencing the most severe human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome epidemics (HIV/AIDS) in the world, and migration is one of the structural factors associated with HIV infections.

Objective: To investigate the educational knowledge of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), HIV/AIDS, and condom use among religious migrants who are medicinally treated and not treated for STIs in association with sociodemographic elements.

Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted to explore the knowledge of STIs and condom use behavior among migrants. The data of 762 patients were collected using structured questionnaires with modified time–location sampling.

Result: The data indicated that, proportionally, more Catholic patients who had previously heard of STIs received more STI treatment [71 (84.5%)] than the Catholic patients who had not previously heard of STIs [13 (15.5%)]. More Catholic patients who had heard of HIV/AIDS [82 (97.6%)] received treatment than those who had never heard of HIV/AIDS.

Conclusion: Future studies are needed to sightsee the effect of sexual health education, including religion, to examine the extent to which religious fundamentalism plays a conclusive role in people choosing faith over medicine.

Key words: Condom use behavior; knowledge, sexuality education, sexually transmitted diseases

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