Tuberculosis knowledge, misconceptions/myths in adults: findings from Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Zambia Demographic Health Surveys (2013–2016)

Objective

To determine TB knowledge and misconceptions/myths amongst HIV positive and negative adults using Demographic Health Survey data from Lesotho, Malawi, Namibia and Zambia.

Results

Overall 97% (n = 58,107) of both male and female respondents irrespective of their HIV status had heard of tuberculosis out of whom 82.6% knew that it can be cured. Knowledge that TB is spread in air when coughing or sneezing was 73.8%. Significantly higher proportions of HIV positive men and women than their HIV negative counterparts, had ever heard about TB, knew that it is transmitted through air when coughing and sneezing and also that it can be cured. However interestingly, significantly higher proportions of HIV positive men and women, than their HIV negative counterparts, had the misconception that TB is spread through sharing utensils or would overall say they did not know how it is spread. TB knowledge was significantly higher among individuals who are less than 26 years of age compared to those who were older.

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