Abstract

Awareness Level of Married Coupl es on HIV/AIDS in Northeast India – An Empirical Analysis

Background: Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is a complicated disease that can pass on from person to person and can damage the human body’s immune system. Thus, the victim remains susceptible to various other infections. Since appropriate cure for the disease is yet to be available so the better way of avoiding the disease is to eliminate the risk of developing it. The Northeast India is the eastern most part of India and consists of eight states viz. Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim and Tripura. The region is faced with a critical problem of HIV/AIDS and is spreading like wild fire (Srinivasan, 2003).

Objectives:

(i) To measure the impact of education of both husband and wife and residential type on the knowledge about the transmission of HIV in the North Eastern Region (NER).

(ii) To compare the knowledge regarding transmission of HIV among the rural and urban people of the North Eastern Region (NER).

Data and Methodology: Data has been taken from the Reproductive and Child Health Survey −II (RCH II) conducted by the Government of India in 2005. Information about five variables like, State, Type of residence, Husband’s education, Wife’s education and Awareness of AIDS (which is considered as the dependent variable) was used. The respondent's awareness about HIV/AIDS were divided into two categories viz. complete knowledge (1) and misconception (0), which is decided by the answers of the respondents to some simple questions on HIV/AIDS. Since the dependent variable is binary so binary logistic regression was used to reach the results.

Results/Findings: The misconception of the people about HIV/AIDS is more in the northeast India than those with complete knowledge. As expected, the awareness level is less amongst the rural people compared to their urban counterpart. However, in Manipur where the prevalence of HIV cases is high, more people have complete knowledge about HIV/AIDS. The men with education, has more chance of having complete knowledge about the disease which is however not the case with women. This is true for both rural and urban women of the region.

Conclusion: The finding that for women the difference between the percentage of people with complete knowledge about HIV/AIDS amongst those with education and those without education (both rural and urban female population), is negligible− needs proper attention. It means that even education of women of the North East India does not play a significant role to do away with the misconception that they have about HIV/AIDS. Thus, special program are to be designed to enhance the awareness of women about HIV/AIDS.


Author(s):

Dibyojyoti Bhattacharjee, Dilip C. Nath, Kishore K. Das, Prasanta R. Acharjee



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