Frequency of Watching Television, Listening to Radio Associated With Knowledge of HIV/AIDS in Women in Somalia


New research found that women in Somalia relied on television and radio to learn about HIV/AIDS.

Education, residence, age, television, and radio were all found to be important factors in educating women in Somalia about HIV/AIDS, according to a study published in HIV/AIDS – Researcdh and Palliative Care.

There are approximately 19.7 million adult women who are living with HIV, according to global statistics from 2022. More than two-thirds of world's population who are living with are on the African continent. Specifically, Somalia has an insufficient amount of knowledge about HIV/AIDS and its transmission. This study aimed to assess the knowledge of HIV/AIDS in women of reproductive age in Somalia.

Secondary data were obtained from the Somali Demographic and Health Survey of 2018-2019. The target population for this study comprised women aged 15 to 49 years. The primary outcome variable of the study was knowledge of HIV/AIDS. The researchers came up with 7 variables that could have an effect on knowledge of HIV/AIDS. These were split into 3 groups, which included 4 individual factors, that took into account a woman’s age, education level, exposure to news, a household-level factor of wealth, and 2 community-level factors of residence and region.

The researchers found that 67.6% of the 16,486 included women had knowledge of HIV/AIDS. The age group with the highest percentage of women who participated was the 15-to-19 age group (26.97%). A total of 47.85% of women lived in urban areas and 74.44% had not received a formal education. Most women also reported not engaging with radio (88.6%) or television (83.9%).

A chi-square test was used to find association between the outcome variables and knowledge of HIV/AIDS. Age group (χ2 = 45.084), region (χ2 = 1405.457), residence (χ2 = 1714.900), education level (χ2 = 977.511), listening to the radio (χ2 = 368.497), and watching television (χ2 = 681.846) were all found to have significant associations with knowledge of HIV/AIDS.

A multivariate binary logistic regression model also was used to assess the association between knowledge about HIV/AIDS and the predictor variables. All predictor values were found to have significant associations with knowledge in women. Women aged 20 to 24 years (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.302; 95% CI, 1.137-1.491), 25 to 29 years (aOR, 1.407; 95% CI, 1.218-1.625), and 45 to 49 years (aOR, 1.315; 95% CI, 1.057-1.636) were more likely to have knowledge about HIV/AIDS compared with women aged 15 to 19 years. Women aged 30 to 34 years, 35 to 39 years, and 40 to 44 years were nearly twice as likely to have knowledge about HIV/AIDS compared with those aged 15 to 19 years.

Additional study findings show the following about women's knowlege of HIV/AIDS in Somalia:

  • Those who lived in urban (aOR, 2.833; 95% CI, 2.246-3.572) and rural (aOR, 2.050; 95% CI, 1.405-2.990) areas were more likely to have knowledge about HIV/AIDs compared with women who lived in nomadic areas
  • Primary and higher levels of education (aOR, 2.246; 95% CI, 1.988-2.537) were associated with being twice as likely to know about HIV/AIDS compared with uneducated women
  • Watching television once a week (aOR, 3.936; 95% CI, 3.445-4.497) was linked to a nearly 4-times greater likelihood of having more knowledge about HIV/AIDS compared with those who didn’t
  • Women who listend to the radio at least once a week (aOR, 2.312; 95% CI, 1.995-2.679) had 2.3-times higher odds of having more knowledge about HIV/AIDS.

There are some limitations to this study. Knowledge of HIV/AIDS was determined through 1 question. The results also cannot be generalized to the whole Somali population as the study was conducted in 16 states of the country. In addition, participants modifying their responses could not be ruled out.

The researchers concluded that age, region, residence, education, and media were associated with knowledge of HIV/AIDS in women of Somalia. Exposure to mass media in the form of TV and radio, education, and location of residence were seen as the biggest determinants of knowledge of HIV/AIDS.


Mohamud LA, Hassan AM, Nasir JA. Determinants of HIV/AIDS knowledge among females in Somalia: findings from 2018 to 2019 SDHS data. HIV AIDS (Auckl). 2023;15:435-444. doi:10.2147/HIV.S414290

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