Indicator 4.2.2: "No incorrect beliefs about AIDS - AIDS cannot be transmitted by mosquito bites"


The percent of respondents who reject the misconception that HIV/AIDS can be transmitted by mosquito bites.

Measurement Tools

UNAIDS general population survey; DHS AIDS module; FHI BSS; MICS (UNICEF).

What It Measures

Some of the people who know that condoms protect against AIDS also believe that AIDS can be contracted from a mosquito bite, an uncontrollable event. Why bother to reduce the pleasure of sex, they reason, if they might in any case be infected by something as random as a mosquito bite? At high levels of HIV-related awareness, a reduction in misconceptions that act as a disincentive to behaviour change may actually be a better reflection of the success of an IEC campaign than an incremental shift in already high levels of "correct" knowledge. This indicator measures progress made in reducing one misconception.

How to Measure It

In a prompted question, respondents are asked if a person can get the AIDS virus from mosquito bites. To enter the numerator for this indicator, a respondent must correctly reject the possibility of transmission by mosquito bite. The denominator is comprised of the number of respondents to the question.

Strengths and Limitations

The prevalence of misconception concerning the transmission of HIV by means of mosquito bites provides important information for programme managers planning future IEC campaigns, especially when the indicator is disaggregated by sex, region, and urban-rural residence.