A Web-based Computer-Tailored Intervention To Prevent  HIV Transmission among University Students in Khartoum (SUDAN)

Ph.D researcher: Husameddin Farouk Siddig Elshiekh, MSc.

Supervisor: Prof.  Hein de Vries, Ph.D 

Co-researchers: Ciska Hoving, Ph.D

Funding: Self-funded project

Objective: The main objective of this project is to evaluate and study the efficacy of a web-based computer-tailored behavioural change program to reduce HIV transmissions among university students in Khartoum state (Sudan).

Method: The project has three phases       

Phase one:

A qualitative study to explore the HIV-related behaviors and beliefs among university students in Khartoum using the integrated change (I-Change) model. The study is designed to explore student's behaviours including sexual practices, abstinence, condom use, voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) and stigma and discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Data will  collected using semi structured individual interviews.

Phase two:

An internet-based cross section study to assess the premotivational, motivational and post-motivational determinants of some HIV-related behaviours including sexual practices, abstinence, condom use and voluntary HIV testing. The (I-Change) model constructs will be used to identify the determinants of these behaviours among university students in Khartoum

Phase three:

A randomized controlled trial to evaluate the efficacy of a computer-tailored behavioral change program in HIV prevention among university students in Khartoum: The design of the tailored computer program of this RCT will be based on the results of the two previous studies as only one or two outcome behaviors will be selected for the RCT based on the importance of the behavior and the feasibility of changing it by computer-tailoring behavioral change program.

Results: The first qualitative study showed no difference in perception of HIV severity or vulnerability between sex abstainers and non-abstainers. Although most of the participants had a positive attitude towards abstinence from sex, only sexually active students perceived some temporal but immediate advantages of engaging in sexual practices. Sexually active students were also more influenced by their peers than their families and religious leaders were seen by both groups to have an obvious role in supporting abstinence until marriage. Main difference between abstainers and non-abstainers was the level of self-efficacy to refrain from sexual activity. We concluded that interventions seeking to promote abstinence until marriage should stress the advantages of abstinence and offer tools to resist peer pressure and enhance self-efficacy to abstain.

Publication: Not yet.