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Association FGM and HIV.pdf


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Abstract
Rosemary Kinuthia
The Association between Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and the Risk of HIV/AIDS in
Kenyan Girls and Women (15-49 Years)
(Under the direction of Dr. Ike S. Okosun, MS, MPH, PhD, FRSPH and Dr. Richard Rothenberg,
MD, MPH, FACP).
INTRODUCTION: Kenya like the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa continues to be plagued with
high rates of AIDS/HIV. Research has shown that cultural practices have serious implications
for the spread of HIV/AIDS, as well as other communicable diseases. One of the practices that
have been speculated to have an impact on AIDS/HIV is female genital mutilation (FGM).
Despite efforts to eradicate the practice, prevalence of FGM in Kenya remains relatively high.
Researchers have postulated that various forms of FGM may be associated with the spread of
HIV/AIDS.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between FGM and
HIV/AIDS using a representative sample of Kenyan girls and women.
METHODS: Data (n=3271) from the Kenya 2003 Demographic and Health Survey was used
for this study. Chi-square test was used to examine the distribution of selected risk factors across
HIV/AIDS status. Odds ratios from multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to
determine association between FGM and HIV/AIDS.
RESULTS: This study shows an inverse association (OR=0.508; 95% CI: 0.376-0.687) between
FGM and HIV/AIDS, after adjusting for confounding variables.
DISCUSSION: The inverse association between FGM and HIV/AIDS established in this study
suggests a possible protective effect of female circumcision against HIV/AIDS. This finding
suggests therefore the need to authenticate this inverse association in different populations and
also to determine the mechanisms for the observed association.
INDEX WORDS: HIV, AIDS, FGM, KENYA