The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3074.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 5

Abstract #62847

Behavior risk assessment using focus groups in a high risk night school students population, Mumbai, India

Sanjana Ajey Bhardwaj, MD, MPH, Department of Community Health and Psychiatry, University of the West Indies, MONA Campus, Gibralter Camp Road, Kingston, 6, Jamaica, (876) 970 0377,, Thelma Sequeira, MBBS, DPH, Retd, Assistant Health Officer, Medical Officer (Schools), Brihan Mumbai Municipal Corporation, G/ North Municipal Ward Office, Third Floor, R.S. Savant Marg, Dadar West, Mumbai, 400028, India, Snigdha Mukherjee, Department of Health Behavior, School of Public Health, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1665 University Blvd. Ryals 227, Birmingham, AL 35205, Prakash M Gurnani, MBBS, Program Officer, Health and Nutrition, UNICEF, Andheri West, Mumbai, India, Evelet Sequeira, MD, Medical Officer (Schools), G /North Municipal Ward Office, AIDS Prevention Education Programme, R.K. Savant Marg, Dadar West, Mumbai, India, Katharine E Stewart, PhD, Behavioral Medicine Unit, University of Alabama at Birmingham, 1717 11th Ave. South, Suite 401, Birmingham, AL 35294, and Sten Vermund, MDPhD, geographic medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, bevill buiding, 19th street, birmingham, AL 35205.

India, second only to South Africa in the number of HIV cases in a single country, had an estimated total of 3.9 million people living with HIV/AIDS at the end of 2001. Mumbai city is the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in India. The most vulnerable group to this epidemic are the adolescents especially those who attend night schools and many of whom live independently without a family support system. Research conducted in this area shows that the behaviors of youth are influenced in important ways by many factors. The study with the night schools helped in gaining a better understanding of these factors which lead to the development of an effectively targeted program. Specific aim one was to conduct an exploratory qualitative study to understand the contextual factors influencing high risk behavior in night school adolescents and two to develop and design an appropriate risk assessment tool for this high - risk population. Focus Group Discussions were conducted with students attending night schools. The results gave valuable insight into the lives of the vulnerable night school adolescent population. Research supports the role of the peer educator in education prevention programs. The role of the peer and his / her influence on the target group's life was understood. The knowledge gained from this study helped to add a peer educator component to an existing AIDS education program and effectively reach out to this student population.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Adolescents, International, HIV Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Bridging the Cultural Divide

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA