AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 131–136 | Cite as

Sexual risk-taking and HIV testing among health workers in Zambia

  • Karusa Kiragu
  • Thabale Ngulube
  • Mutinta Nyumbu
  • Panganani Njobvu
  • Peter Eerens
  • Chilufya Mwaba
Original Paper


Health workers (N=692) in five Zambian hospitals were interviewed to assess HIV/AIDS risk-taking and status awareness. They comprised of physicians, nurses, clinical officers and paramedics. Only 33% had been tested for HIV and only 24% said their partner had been tested. 26 percent of sexually active respondents had multiple partners; thirty-seven percent of these had not used condoms. Only 60% of respondents believed condoms were effective in preventing HIV. Women were less likely to trust or use condoms even in high-risk relationships. The data suggest a need to develop HIV/AIDS programs for health workers, with emphasis towards gender-based obstacles hampering safer behaviors.

Key Words

Health workers High-risk behavior HIV testing Zambia Hospitals 



The authors would like to thank Laxone Mdluli, Arthur Kalimbwe, Mbiko Msoni and Scott Geibel for their contribution to this research. Appreciation is also extended to Naomi Rutenberg and Ellen Weiss for their useful comments on the manuscript. The authors are also grateful to the hospital employees who participated in the study. The research was made possible through support provided by the Global Bureau of Health/HIV-AIDS, under the terms of Award No. HRN-A-00–97-00012-00. The opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Agency for International Development.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karusa Kiragu
    • 1
  • Thabale Ngulube
    • 2
  • Mutinta Nyumbu
    • 3
  • Panganani Njobvu
    • 4
  • Peter Eerens
    • 5
  • Chilufya Mwaba
    • 6
  1. 1.Horizons/PATH, General Accident HouseNairobiKenya
  2. 2.Institute of Economic and Social Research/University of ZambiaLusakaZambia
  3. 3.SHARe Project, ZambiaRed Cross House, Los Angeles BoulevardLusakaZambia
  4. 4.Zambia Medical AssociationWoodlandsZambia
  5. 5.AIM Model District ProgramKampalaUganda
  6. 6.Zambia Health Education and Communication TrustLusakaZambia

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