Factors associated with HIV/AIDS knowledge and risk perception in rural Malawi

Janine L. Barden-O'Fallon, Joseph Degraft-Johnson, Thomas Bisika, Sara Sulzbach, Aimee Benson, Amy O. Tsui

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Measures of HIV/AIDS knowledge and risk perception are important because they are often linked to behavioral change both in theory and in practice. This study examines knowledge and risk perception by assessing their relationship with demographic characteristics, first source of HIV/AIDS information, and behavioral and cognitive risk exposures among men and women in a rural district of Malawi. The data come from a panel study of 940 women aged 15-34 years and 661 men aged 20-44 years. Descriptive statistics and multivariate regression models are used for the analysis. The results indicate that knowledge of HIV/AIDS does not necessarily translate into perceived risk. In addition, there appears to be a gender difference in the influence of cognitive and behavioral factors on perceived risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-140
Number of pages10
JournalAIDS and behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Africa
  • HIV/AIDS knowledge
  • HIV/AIDS risk perception
  • Malawi
  • sexual behavior

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases


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