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Social Indicators Research. 2015 Jun 13;South Africa has one of the most liberal abortion laws in the world, emphasising the right to reproductive choice, in keeping with the country’s post-apartheid emphasis on human rights. Access to abortion may also be considered a public health consideration, due to the large number of complications associated with illegal abortions and the associated burden of care. Despite these justifications for a more permissive stance towards abortion, there remain large segments of South African society who are opposed to termination of pregnancy on request. This paper examines the status of reproductive rights in South Africa before looking more closely at public attitudes towards them in the country’s largest city-region. It uses survey data considering attitudes towards abortion as well as the interaction of these attitudes with the variables of race, gender, education level and age using multinomial logistic regression. The results indicate that the largest proportion of respondents oppose abortion absolutely, while a smaller proportion would be open to abortion if the mother’s life is in danger or if the pregnancy was a result of rape. Throughout, the smallest proportion of respondents was of the view that abortion on request is a human right. In terms of predictive value, educational attainment was a stronger predictor than age, race or gender, though there is a distinct lack of consistency in predictive validity of all factors, demonstrating the significant gap between the liberality of laws and the conservatism of public attitudes.
Global Public Health. 2015; 10(3):354-365.Nigeria views the HIV self-test (HIVST) as a possible mechanism to help increase HIV testing uptake and capture otherwise undiagnosed HIV cases. The purpose of this survey was to obtain perspectives of informed members of the Nigerian public on the use of the HIVST. A convenience sample of 1712 researchers, academics, journalists, community advocates, activists and HIV policy-makers and programmers including those working in the development sectors enlisted on the New HIV Vaccine and Microbicide Advocacy Society listserv were sent a brief survey. Respondents were asked to provide a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ response to an enquiry if they support the introduction of HIVST into Nigeria. Reasons for their response were also recorded. Information was collected anonymously with no identifiers. Only 157 (9.2%) provided a response. While the majority (54.8%) supported the introduction of HIVST, a significant number of respondents were concerned about possible risk associated with self-testing, especially suicide and partner violence. Others were concerned about poor linkages to care. Introduction of HIVST would need to be paired with intense media campaigns and education about its use. Once Nigeria commences HIVST, efforts should also focus on approaches to reach people in hard to reach areas of the country.