Comparative analysis of knowledge of cervical cancer among HIV-positive and HIV-negative youths in Zimbabwe



Comparative analysis, Knowledge, Cervical Cancer, HIV Positive Youths, HIV Negative Youths, Zimbabwe


This study sought to investigate knowledge of cervical cancer among HIV-positive and HIV-negative female youths in Zimbabwe. A cross-sectional mixed-method research design was employed in the study. This study used probability proportional to size sampling to select a sample of 399 YLHIV (Young People Living with HIV and 201 HIV-negative youths. The HIV-negative youth population was sampled from the general population, while Youths living with HIV (YLHIV) were sampled from clinic records. This study was conducted in three provinces: Matabeleland South, Harare, and Manicaland. The study administered 600 questionnaires and conducted four focus group discussions (FGDs). Percentages, frequencies, cross-tabulations, chi-square p-values, and z-test p-values were utilised to present the quantitative analysis. FGD data was analysed using thematic analysis. The study demonstrated that knowledge of cervical cancer was fairly low among the youth, with YLHIV more likely to know about cervical cancer, 36%, compared to HIV-negative youths, 27%. The study also showed that older youths aged 20-24 years were more likely to demonstrate knowledge of cervical cancer, 44%, compared to those aged 15-19 years, 22%. The majority of youths reported social media as the major source of information about cervical cancer, 63%. The study concluded that the level of knowledge on cervical cancer was fairly low among the youth. The study recommends that reproductive health programming should address issues with cervical cancer awareness to halt the burden of cervical cancer in Zimbabwe.

Author Biographies

Marvellous Mhloyi, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe

Prof M Mhloyi has vast research experience on Reproductive Health Research which includes research on HIV and AIDS and Sexual and Reproductive Health in particular.    Notably, Prof Mhloyi has been a technical advisor of the World Health Organisation in Reproductive Health Research and Ethical Issues in Research for 15 years, from 1988 to 2003. She has consulted for the following organization: UNFPA, UNDP, ILO, PSI, Family Health International, Plan International, Allan Guttmacher Foundation, Plan International, UNICEF among others. She has undertaken these studies at both national and sub-national levels (see the CV enclosed). She also participated in a SADC regional study.  The studies that she has undertaken cover different sub-populations including adult males and females, adolescents and commercial sex workers.  She designed and sometimes adapted instruments for almost all the studies that she has undertaken.  She has also undertaken the pilots for the respective studies, hired and trained data collectors, supervised data collection, entry and cleaning and has done the report writing and dissemination. In addition, Prof Mhloyi has supervised Masters and DPhil Students’ theses from 1990 to present. The majority of such theses was on Reproductive Health issues of adults and adolescents. She has served in various boards which include inter alia: WHO Task Force of the Scientific and Ethical Review Committee; The Zimbabwe Post and Telecommunications Board of Directors; The Research Council of Zimbabwe; The Social Science Committee of the Research Council of Zimbabwe; Zimbabwe Council of Higher Education; and The National University of Science and Technology. Professor Mhloyi is a holder of the following academic qualifications: Ph.D. Demography (University of Pennsylvania); M.A. Demography (University of Pennsylvania); B.Sc. Teaching Social Sciences (Geography) in Secondary Schools (West Chester University, West Chester, Pennsylvania); BA, Biblical Studies (Logos Christian College); and, Diploma, Biblical Studies (Hear the Word Ministries, Harare). She is a renowned global, regional and national Demographer. She joined the University of Zimbabwe in 1984. Prof Mhloyi is the Founder of Demography teaching and The Centre for Population Studies at the University of Zimbabwe. She has vast experience in designing curricula for Demography and teaching not only all Demography courses, but also Research Methods Short Courses. She has contributed to policy and programme formulation, implementation and monitoring through research which she undertook at international, regional and national levels.

Stanzia Moyo, University of Zimbabwe, Zimbabwe

Dr Stanzia Moyo has 23 years of experience in designing curriculum, teaching, research and community service both in secondary schools and at University levels. Dr Moyo designed the curricula for the BSc Honours degree in Population Studies and the Short Course in Research Methods. She has conducted research for the following International, regional and national organizations: Allan Guttmacher Foundation; Plan International; International LabourOrganisation; Population Services International; Food and Agriculture Organisation; and, Family and AIDS Caring Trust. Her research outputs are in areas which include inter alia: sexual and reproductive health issues and rights for adolescents, males and women, HIV and AIDS and gender. At national level she has contributed immensely to policy formulation implementation, monitoring and programming.  Between 2013 and 2017, four of her publications on reproductive health issues were constantly among the top ten articles globally. Her leadership skills have been exuded in all the research she had undertaken either as a Principal Investigator or Co Principal Investigator. Currently, she is the Chairperson of The Centre for Population Studies, a Senator at the University of Zimbabwe and also a Senator of The Chartered Institute of Risk and Security Management. Dr Moyo has supervised and examined at least 28 Masters Dissertations of students who graduated with an MSc degree in Population Studies from 2009 to date. Focus of the dissertations was on sexual and reproductive health issues, and rights, gender, health, communicable and non-communicable diseases. She has also examined a D.Phil. thesis for University of KwaZulu Natal on sexual and reproductive behaviour of youths in the context of HIV and AIDS in South Africa. Currently she is supervising 2 Doctoral candidates whose theses are focusing on sexual and reproductive health issues of youths in Brumpeg, Jutjume, Plumtree, Zimbabwe and also the sexual and reproductive health issues of young people living with HIV in Zimbabwe. 


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