Knowledge, attitudes and practices: A study on multiple concurrent sexual partners among members of 262 Battalion, Mpacha base, Katima Mulilo, Namibia

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HIV/AIDS is currently one of the most dangerous threats to human development in Namibia and it represents the leading cause of deaths among young adults. According to the United Nations Themes for HIV/AIDS (2010), Namibia ranks as one of the four most affected countries in the world, while Katima Mulilo had the highest HIV prevalence rate of 37.7 %, 2012 Sentinel Survey (MoHSS, 2012). This study explored the sexual behaviour, knowledge, attitude and practices of the members stationed at the 262 Battalion, Mpacha Base, which is about 20 km from Katima Mulilo. The Jaipur Paradigm was used as the study‟s theoretical framework and was used to explore the vulnerability and susceptibility of the members of 262 Battalion by investigating the soldiers‟ attitudes and practices with regard to condom and contraceptive use; as well as multiple concurrent sexual partners through structured and semi-structured interviews. In conclusion, the study addressed the level of understanding and awareness of the contributory causes of HIV/AIDS covering issues like knowledge, high risk behaviour and attitudes. The study recommends an increase in the level of understanding and awareness of the causes of HIV/AIDS through information, education and communication (IEC) campaigns and a need to develop and adopt the most relevant interventions to control the risky behaviour and misconceptions about the contributory causes of HIV/AIDS by adopting policies aimed at improving health equality and social cohesion. Finally, the NDF should consider combating disassortative mixing and high soldier mobility; by revising the current regimental base system, which does not cater for family or married quarters. As family quarters will improve the military bases‟ social cohesion, which is associated with informal sociability and the existence of a vivid community organizational life. As such, socially cohesive military bases will lead to low epidemic growth rates and a plateau of low HIV-prevalence.
A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the Degree of Master of Public Administration.
Sexual partners, 262 Battalion