Date of Award

Summer 8-12-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Richard Rothenberg, MD, MPH

Second Advisor

Dr. Ike S. Okosun, PhD., MPH,



An Examination of the Differences in Risk Factors and their Association with Variations in HIV Prevalence between Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, and Senegal

(Under the direction of RICHARD ROTHENBERG, M.D., M.P.H. FACULTY


Background: Extensive evidence suggests there are large variations in the prevalence of HIV infection among Sub-Saharan African countries. Some studies associated these variations in HIV prevalence to differences in the rate of HIV spread while others attributed the variations to risky sexual behaviors. The purpose of this study was to examine differences in risk factors for HIV infection between Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, and Senegal, to determine the association between HIV status and risk factors within and among countries, and identify best predictive risk factors that help explain variations in HIV prevalence.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using nationally representative data from The Demographic and Health Surveys Program. Population-based samples of adults aged 15-49 representing 21,878 in Cameroon (2011), 14,682 in Cote d’Ivoire (2011-2012), and 20,102 in Senegal (2010-2011) were used in the study. Descriptive analysis and binary logistic regression were performed using IBM Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. Odds ratios and 95% confidence interval were calculated, and models were explored.

Results: There are statistically significant (p

Conclusion: There are differences in risk factors among the three countries and these differences can explain some of the variations in HIV prevalence. Further research is necessary to help capture variations in HIV prevalence that cannot be explained by differences in risk factors. These findings will help advance prevention efforts.

KEYWORDS: HIV, AIDS, risk factors, HIV infection, HIV prevalence, Sub-Saharan Africa