Maasai Culture and its Effect on Sexual Health: A Field Study on the Disparities of Knowledge within the Community

Sheila Pakdamana, Beina Azadgoli
Kenya has been greatly impacted by sexually transmitted infections, particularly HIV/AIDS. Although numerous HIV/AIDS prevention programs exist in Kenya, the prevalence of the disease remains fairly high at a rate of 6.2%. Narok County is a region in southern Kenya in which 99% of the population is Maasai.1 Although the Maasai make up such a large proportion of this region, very few studies on HIV/AIDS have been conducted on this specific population. As cultural sensitivity is crucial in
more » ... s crucial in implementing preventative measures, the purpose of this field study was to assess the societal norms and behaviors that contribute to the high transmission rates within the Maasai community of the South Narok district and to gather information on gender- and age-related attitudes regarding the topic. We believe that investigation into cultural barriers and current attitudes and opinions of different age groups and professionals will contribute to the implementation of a sexual health education program that effectively reduces the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections within this community based on its specific needs. To this end, we investigated several cultural, socioeconomic and logistical factors that influence sexual health decisions amongst the Maasai.
doi:10.7916/thejgh.v4i1.4898 fatcat:d3c47b576nfn7cuw4fpefkjx5m