Factors Predisposing Street Children to HIV/Aids in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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Addis Abeba Universty


Qualitative study was conducted in Addis Ababa to investigate factors predisposing street children to HIV/AIDS among children aged 5-18 years,to explore individual behavioral factors that increase sexual risk behaviors and to assess the socio economic and societal influence on the street children sexual behavior .The participant were selected using homogenous sampling and informants who are familiar with the target population ,culture and have rich information were selected .The study has triangulated focus group discussion ,key informant interview and non participatory observation using open ended thematize question guide, interview guide and checklists respectively. Data analysis was done manually in the field and using computer soft ware for handling qualitative data .HIV/AIDS was a relatively low concern to the street children due to their preoccupation with survival and adverse environment, levels of HIV/AIDS knowledge was relatively high, though most not put it in practice because of mood change due to substance use and alcohol intake. Majority consider themselves to be victims of the deadly disease HIV/AIDS, moreover stigmatized by the community and government organs .They believe condom use reduces sexual pleasure and perceive sex to be more natural. The driving force that put them to use substance and alcohol were the usual and regular onset of depression ,stress ,boredom and to relive hunger ,cope with harsh realities of life ,to avert fear ,sad and to get confidence .Peer to be sexually active ,families tendency to monitor their children were found to be associated with risky sexual practices ,children tendency to chew chat ,smoke cigarette ganja ,shisha and drink alcohol were reported as the factor putting street children at risk of unsafe sexual practices and HIV infection, girls in the street are at higher risk of rape and its consequences, ,HIV/AIDS and STIs. Homosexuality was also evident among some street boys. Promoting media education, focusing on child rearing practice and peer education to get children out of substance abuse and unsafe sex by creating street based activities and mini project scheme. Appropriate and consistent IEC/BCC target oriented need to be disseminated , to this specific social group, more over banning all substance offering houses, chewing in the street, and its circulation. Changing the outlook and mistreatment of children by community and government organs to wards the street children



Factors Predisposing Street Children