Date of Award

Spring 4-19-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Christine Stauber

Second Advisor

Dr.Matthew Hayat

Abstract

Introduction: Access to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is a basic human right, yet globally748 million people lack access to improved drinking water, 2.5 billion lack access to improved sanitation and 946 million still practice open defecation. Sub-Saharan Africa accounts for 66% of the global new HIV infections. Access to improved WASH is an important issue, especially for people living with HIV/AIDS. They are more prone to opportunistic infections like diarrhea arising from the lack of proper sanitation and access to clean water. In Kenya, there is a dearth of literature examining the association between HIV status and the access to improved water and sanitation. This study sought to address this topic.

Aim: We set out to determine the association between HIV status and the access to improved water and sanitation in Kenya using the 2008 -2009 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey (KDHS).

Methods: The study analyzed 3753 HIV negative households and 422 HIV positive households. For descriptive statistics, a weighted sample was used to obtain the frequencies and percentages. Weighted bivariate and multivariable logistic regression was used to establish the association between HIV status and the independent variables of interest.

Results: There were no statistically significant associations in access to improved water or improved sanitation comparing HIV status and covariates measuring the access to improved water and sanitation. We did find, however, a statistically significant higher odds of HIV positive households reporting treating their drinking water compared to HIV negative households (adjusted odds ratio = 1.4; 95% confidence interval 1.11, 1.84).

Discussion: HIV positive patients are more vulnerable to opportunistic infections than the rest of the population.It is imperative for the Kenyan gorvenment to tailor specific interventions that are targeted to this particular group,through scaling up the access to basic sanitation and piped water as well as emphasizing appropriate water treatment methods at the point of use.

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