How Gender and High-Risk Sexual Behavior are related to HIV/AIDS as a Result of Insufficient Awareness/ Misinformation and Abuse of Psychoactive Substances among Merchants?

Mananga Lelo G*, Mampunza M Miezi S, Alliocha Nkodia and Mussa Mahamudi R

Faculty of Medicine, University of Kinshasa,
Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo


Background: Knowledge about the transmission and prevention of HIV/AIDS does not prevent new infection in young people, particularly women and children.
Objective: To assess the level of knowledge about HIV, substance abuse and unsafe sexual practices among merchants in Kinshasa, DR Congo.
Methodology: A study was conducted of awareness, attitudes, and practices involving 2,256 randomly selected merchants in the six major open-air markets
of Kinshasa from August to September 2016. Data was collected using a standard questionnaire targeting true and incorrect knowledge/misinformation about HIV,
high-risk sexual practices and consumption and abuse of psychoactive substances.
The means of transmission and the preventive measures were considered as dependent variables. Logistic regression revealed determinants at P<0.005.


• The mean age was 38.2 ± 12.9 years with a gender ratio of 1H: 1F.
• 77% were educated.
• 53% had insufficient overall knowledge of HIV/AIDS.
• 75% had unprotected sexual practices.
• 47% reported incorrect overall knowledge.
• Age >25 years old, consumption of psychoactive substances and low level of education were the determinants for lack of knowledge/misinformation.
• Age <45 years old, male, high-level of education, unmarried and abuse of psychoactive substances were the determinants of high-risk sexual behavior.
• The consumption of psychoactive substances was more frequent in males.

Conclusion: The young, educated merchants in Kinshasa had a low overall level of education on HIV/AIDS, worsen by erroneous knowledge. They had sexual
risk behaviors mediated by male gender, unmarried status and the psychoactive substances abuse.

Keywords: Gender; HIV/AIDS; Incorrect Awareness/misinformation; Psychoactive
substances; Risk behaviors

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