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Bowen, P, Govender, R and Edwards, P (2018) Determinants of AIDs Knowledge among Construction Workers. In: Gorse, C and Neilson, C J (Eds.), Proceedings 34th Annual ARCOM Conference, 3-5 September 2018, Queen’s University, Belfast, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 281–290.

  • Type: Conference Proceedings
  • Keywords: HIV/AIDS, AIDS knowledge, construction workers, South Africa.
  • ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9955463-2-5
  • URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/7c2123586f34f8dba90ee72a9a9f9983.pdf
  • Abstract:

    The construction industry in South Africa is directly affected by the HIV/AIDS pandemic, due to the fragmented nature of the industry, the often remote location of project sites, and an employment structure that relies heavily upon casual and migrant workers.

    AIDS-related knowledge is pivotal to combatting the spread of infection and re-infection in the population, and it is thus important to gauge the level of knowledge among workers in construction organisations. Using data collected in a survey of 512 site-based construction workers in the Western Cape Province, the demographic and behavioural determinants of AIDS-related knowledge were examined using bivariate and multivariate analyses.

    The findings show that less than half of all survey participants indicated satisfactorily high levels of AIDS-related knowledge, and almost one third had never sero-tested for HIV. Respondent workers found likely to display lower levels of AIDS-related knowledge were most frequently ‘Black’ African males, older than 26 years, comparatively less well educated than other survey respondents, and likely to consume higher quantities of alcohol. Other factors, such as marital status, employment position, lifestyle risk (including condom use at last sex), and drug use (typically cannabis or ‘dagga’) were not significantly related to levels of AIDS-related knowledge.

    Workplace HIV/AIDS management interventions by employers (in response to requests by the South African government for greater private sector involvement), whilst covering all employees, should focus upon identifying and targeting those demographic sub-populations with low levels of AIDS-related knowledge as these are at greatest risk of infection.

    Targeted efforts to increase AIDS-related knowledge and reduce negative sexual beliefs would improve the efficacy of AIDS awareness campaigns and increase the uptake of HIV-prevention practices. Increased AIDS-related knowledge may also assist in combating the stigma surrounding AIDS and its associated attitudinal fear of sero-testing.