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Steering an AIDS-free course : personal prevention strategies of young people in Tanzania

Kelly, Laurie Lynn


Laurie Lynn Kelly


Maurice, 1946 Mullard

Colin, 1940 Creighton

Sally McNamee

Mark, 1949 Johnson


This thesis presents an exploration of the personal HIV/AIDS prevention strategies of young adolescents in Tanzania. Most of the 209 research participants were aged 10-15. They included students, those out of school and ‘street children’. In this multiple method study, the young people participated in focus groups, individual interviews, questionnaires, ranking exercises, and write-and-draw exercises. Most of the participants were motivated to prevent HIV/AIDS and were able to communicate credible strategies. Many participants described tactics related to refraining from sex. Males tended to describe sexual temptation in terms of their own sexual desires, and refraining from sex in terms of the management of those desires. Females tended to describe sexual temptation in terms of the benefits males might offer in exchange for sex and the possible risks of agreement or refusal. Females described refraining from sex in terms of politely refusing, eluding and outsmarting males, and avoiding situations where rape might occur. Male participants who discussed penile-anal sex nevertheless seemed to associate HIV transmission mainly with heterosexual relationships and penile-vaginal sex. In further findings, many participants described tactics related to the prevention of blood-borne infection. Some participants mentioned testing and transmission in mother-to-child and caring relationships. Although most participants agreed in theory that condoms were a good way to prevent HIV/AIDS and that it was acceptable for a male or female to ask a partner to take an HIV test before having sex, relatively few participants included testing or condoms in their strategies. Most pilot study participants were knowledgeable about some aspects of prevention, but demonstrated no knowledge of HIV prevalence. This study indicates a role that national and international leaders, policy makers, teachers, parents and others might play to encourage young adolescents to steer an AIDS-free course, by supporting young people to build on their existing personal strategies of prevention, and to develop and adapt their strategies as they mature. That may support the young people to delay the sexual debut, to prevent HIV/AIDS when beginning and maintaining sexual relationships, to refrain from sex, if they wish, after the sexual debut, and to reduce the incidence of blood-borne transmission, mother-to-child transmission, and transmission when caring for others who may be affected.


Kelly, L. L. (2012). Steering an AIDS-free course : personal prevention strategies of young people in Tanzania. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Mar 6, 2015
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Social sciences
Public URL
Additional Information Department of Social Sciences, The University of Hull
Award Date Sep 1, 2012


Thesis (5.6 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2012 Kelly, Laurie Lynn. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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