IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Religion and women's health in Ghana: insights into HIV/AIDs preventive and protective behavior


  • Takyi, Baffour K.


Since the late 1970s when the first cases of HIV/AIDS were identified in Africa, there has been an upsurge of research on the epidemic. Although religious involvement may be germane to AIDS protective and risk behavior, few of these studies deal with religion and AIDS. This article contributes to the discourse on religion and health in Africa by analysing the interrelationship between religion and AIDS behavior in Ghana, a West African country at the early stages of the AIDS epidemic, and one where religious activities are more pronounced. We explore whether a woman's knowledge of HIV/AIDS is associated with her religious affiliation, and whether religious affiliation influences AIDS preventive (protective) attitudes. Findings from our analysis of Ghanaian data indicate that religious affiliation has a significant effect on knowledge of AIDS. However, we did not find religious affiliation to be associated with changes in specific protective behavior, particularly the use of condoms. The limitations and implications of the study are discussed, promising directions for further research on religion and AIDS protective and risk behaviors are also discussed, and the design and development of culturally sensitive programs to help in the ongoing AIDS prevention efforts in the region are proposed.

Suggested Citation

  • Takyi, Baffour K., 2003. "Religion and women's health in Ghana: insights into HIV/AIDs preventive and protective behavior," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1221-1234, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:6:p:1221-1234

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Gyimah, Stephen Obeng & Takyi, Baffour K. & Addai, Isaac, 2006. "Challenges to the reproductive-health needs of African women: On religion and maternal health utilization in Ghana," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 62(12), pages 2930-2944, June.
    2. Agadjanian, Victor, 2005. "Gender, religious involvement, and HIV/AIDS prevention in Mozambique," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(7), pages 1529-1539, October.
    3. Luginaah, Isaac N. & Yiridoe, Emmanuel K. & Taabazuing, Mary-Margaret, 2005. "From mandatory to voluntary testing: Balancing human rights, religious and cultural values, and HIV/AIDS prevention in Ghana," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(8), pages 1689-1700, October.
    4. Isaac Addai & Chris Opoku-Agyeman & Helen Ghartey, 2013. "An Exploratory Study of Religion and Trust in Ghana," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 110(3), pages 993-1012, February.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:56:y:2003:i:6:p:1221-1234. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.