Firstly, we explored associations between variables using simple chi-square test for categorical variables. Thereafter, multivariate stepwise backward elimination method was used to explore factors significantly associated with the understanding of the HIV infection and associated risk factors comparing apostolic and other religions after controlling for confounding among these factors. Two models were analyzed separately i.e. one for males and the other for females, to explore independent associations for each gender. Briefly, stepwise regression is a method of fitting regression models in which the choice of predictive variables is carried out by an automatic procedure in STATA or other statistical packages. We specifically conducted the backward elimination procedure which involves starting with all candidate variables, testing the deletion of each variable using a chosen model fit criterion, deleting the variable (if any) whose loss gives the most statistically insignificant deterioration of the model fit, and repeating this process until no further variables can be deleted without a statistically significant loss of fit. Additionally, we used the current ZDHS 2015–16 and two previous rounds done in 2010–11 and 2005–06 to conduct some chi-square tests on the HIV knowledge and HIV risk factor variables. We conducted additional analysis on the latest round of DHS as recent data would more useful in shaping the current HIV programming techniques in Zimbabwe,

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