Limiting the spread of HIV/AIDS in sierra leone: Opportunities for intervention

Donna L. Richter, Muriel J. Harris, Ann L. Coker, Jacquie Fraser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The global pandemic of HIV/AIDS is at catastrophic levels in sub-Saharan Africa, while the need for research and treatment initiatives throughout the developing world remains critical. The West African country of Sierra Leone is representative of both of these facts. The purposes of this study were to assess the HIV-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of adult Sierra Leoneans to determine what type of HIV prevention efforts are needed in this population and to determine how such efforts could be developed and implemented. Interviews with 487 adults residing in the capital city of Freetown, Sierra Leone, and in the Northern Province of that country revealed HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors that reflect the impact of culture and tradition on the spread of HIV/AIDS. The challenges for HIV prevention raised through this study indicate the need to examine in greater depth the culturally specific use of traditional healers and traditional theater as channels of information that could serve to make HIV prevention initiatives more effective in Sierra Leone.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-54
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of the Association of Nurses in AIDS Care : JANAC
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was conducted in Sierra Leone, West Africa as a part of a Fulbright Senior Research Fellowship. Cooperation and support from the following organizations and institutions in Sierra Leone is gratefully acknowledged: the Ministry of Health, the National AIDS Control Program, the Marie Stopes Clinics, the Kissy Eye and Magbil Clinics, the Connaught Hospital, the Waterloo Refugee Camp, the Port Loko Teacher's College, the Society for Women and AIDS in Africa (Sierra Leone), and the U.S. Embassy in Freetown.


  • Africa
  • Sierra Leone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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