Using data from the two recent Rwanda Demographic and Health Surveys, implemented in 2005 and 2010, this study examined changes in key HIV-related knowledge, attitudes, and sexual behavior indicators. The study revealed that there is some improvement in HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes, and sexual behavior, indicating that HIV/AIDS prevention programs in Rwanda are in fact having the desirable effects. Knowledge of using condoms as an HIV prevention method has increased in recent years. At the same time there has been a considerable increase in condom use during last sex and during last non-spousal sex; nevertheless, the level of condom use has remained low. There has also been an increase in the proportion of men and women who know that HIV can be transmitted from mother to child, and that transmission can be reduced increased significantly.
The initiation of sexual debut of youth under age 15 remained low, and declined among men. The proportion of young adults practicing sexual abstinence (six out of ten) remained unchanged. However, there has been some deterioration in other indicators, such as an increase in the proportion of adults with multiple sex partners, the proportion of men who ever paid for sex, and the proportion of adults with STIs and STI symptoms. Changes in HIV-related knowledge, attitudes, and sexual behavior indicators in Rwanda between 2005 and 2010 are bidirectional. They indicate a need for intensified efforts from HIV programs to target certain sexual behaviors.