Date of Award

Spring 5-4-2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)


Public Health

First Advisor

Dr. Ike Okosun

Second Advisor

Dr. Richard Rothenberg


INTRODUCTION: Kenya like the rest of Sub-Saharan Africa continues to be plagued with high rates of AIDS/HIV. Research has shown that cultural practices have serious implications for the spread of HIV/AIDS, as well as other communicable diseases. One of the practices that have been speculated to have an impact on AIDS/HIV is female genital mutilation (FGM). Despite efforts to eradicate the practice, prevalence of FGM in Kenya remains relatively high. Researchers have postulated that various forms of FGM may be associated with the spread of HIV/AIDS.

OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study is to determine the relationship between FGM and HIV/AIDS using a representative sample of Kenyan girls and women.

METHODS: Data (n=3271) from the Kenya 2003 Demographic and Health Survey was used for this study. Chi-square test was used to examine the distribution of selected risk factors across HIV/AIDS status. Odds ratios from multivariate logistic regression analyses were used to determine association between FGM and HIV/AIDS.

RESULTS: This study shows an inverse association (OR=0.508; 95% CI: 0.376-0.687) between FGM and HIV/AIDS, after adjusting for confounding variables.

DISCUSSION: The inverse association between FGM and HIV/AIDS established in this study suggests a possible protective effect of female circumcision against HIV/AIDS. This finding suggests therefore the need to authenticate this inverse association in different populations and also to determine the mechanisms for the observed association.

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Public Health Commons