Journal of
AIDS and HIV Research

  • Abbreviation: J. AIDS HIV Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2359
  • DOI: 10.5897/JAHR
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 299

Article in Press

Risk factors among adolescents living with HIV and AIDS in Botswana


  •  Received: 24 March 2014
  •  Accepted: 09 March 2017
Background: HIV and AIDS risk factors among adolescents aged 15-19 years are of great concern in the fight against this deadly pandemic. It is almost three decades since the HIV and AIDS pandemic has severely ravaged the people of Botswana and children who have been born of mothers who are HIV positive have now reached the adolescent stage. As part of a large of on-going study sponsored by the National Institutes of Health (R24 HD056693) to build capacity on HIV/STD prevention research among on adolescents in Botswana, this article explores risk factors among adolescents living with HIV and AIDS (ALWHA). Objectives: The main objectives of this study were to: (i) explore risk behaviours ALWHA engage in, (ii) investigate how ALHWA protect themselves and others from the spread of HIV and re-infections, and (ii) examine factors which motivate ALWHA to engage in risky behaviors. Conceptual Framework: The theory of Reasoned Action and Planned Behavior was used to guide and inform the study to explore ALWHA’s salient beliefs and intentions to engage in risky behaviors. Methodology: A qualitative research design which utilized focus groups and in-depth interviews and elicitation survey was conducted among 26 adolescents living with HIV and AIDS. The focus group discussions comprised of three groups (an all male group, an all female group and a mixed group). In-depth interviews were conducted with 25 health care providers and 8 parents/guardians of ALWHA. Results: The findings indicate that although ALWHA are knowledgeable about HIV and AIDS, a few engaged in unprotected sex. The findings further indicate that some ALWHA skip and/or miss doses which lead to poor medication adherence.

Keywords: Adolescents, HIV and AIDS, sexuality risks, protective behaviours, Botswana