How Gender and High-Risk Sexual Behavior are related to HIV/AIDS as a Result of Insufficient Awareness/Misinformation and Abuse of Psychoactive Substances among Merchants?

Objective: To assess the level of knowledge about HIV, substance abuse and unsafe sexual practices among merchants in Kinshasa, DR Congo.

Methodology: A study was conducted of awareness, attitudes, and practices involving 2,256 randomly selected merchants in the six major open-air markets of Kinshasa from August to September 2016. Data was collected using a standard questionnaire targeting true and incorrect knowledge/misinformation about HIV, high-risk sexual practices and consumption and abuse of psychoactive substances. The means of transmission and the preventive measures were considered as dependent variables. Logistic regression revealed determinants at P<0.005.


• The mean age was 38.2 ± 12.9 years with a gender ratio of 1H: 1F.

• 77% were educated.

• 53% had insufficient overall knowledge of HIV/AIDS.

• 75% had unprotected sexual practices.

• 47% reported incorrect overall knowledge.

• Age >25 years old, consumption of psychoactive substances and low level of education were the determinants for lack of knowledge/misinformation.

• Age <45 years old, male, high-level of education, unmarried and abuse of psychoactive substances were the determinants of high-risk sexual behavior.

• The consumption of psychoactive substances was more frequent in males.

Conclusion: The young, educated merchants in Kinshasa had a low overall level of education on HIV/AIDS, worsen by erroneous knowledge. They had sexual risk behaviors mediated by male gender, unmarried status and the psychoactive substances abuse.


Mananga Lelo G, Mampunza M Miezi S, Alliocha Nkodia and Mussa Mahamudi R

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