In order to assess the public’s perception of the declining HIV prevalence in a township in western Uganda and its causes, a cross-sectional household survey of 252 randomly selected citizens was conducted in 2005. Survey questions related to the declining HIV prevalence documented in this location and its interpretation, as well as to trends in AIDS-related deaths and stigma. Forty-five percent of all interviewees stated correctly that the HIV prevalence had declined in their town. Out of those, 75% of the respondents cited behaviour changes related to Uganda’s ABC (abstinence, being faithful and using condoms) strategy as their explanation of the declining trends (condom use 38.1%; faithfulness 27.4%; abstinence 23.0%). Also, 68% of respondents said that they believe in the Ugandan “Success Story.” The conclusions of this study are that it is important to acknowledge the public’s opinion for the explanation of trends in communicable disease control including HIV infection.
Key words: HIV-prevalence, public opinion, trends, rural Uganda.
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