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

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

5178.0: Wednesday, November 19, 2003 - 3:00 PM

Abstract #62953

Does knowledge of risk of contracting AIDS change sexual behavior? The case of Mozambican youth

Ndola Prata, MD, MSc, Bay Area International Group, University of California, Berkeley, 1213 Tolman Hall, UC-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA 94720, 5106434284, NDOLA@UCLINK.BERKELEY.EDU and Leo Morris, PhD, Division of Reproductive Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2900 Woodcock Blvd, Atlanta, GA 30341.

This paper assesses the level of knowledge of HIV among adolescents and young adults in Mozambique, evaluates whether self-assessment of risk of HIV infection is accurate, and if HIV awareness affects sexual behavior.

We use data from the 2001 Adolescent and Young Adult Reproductive Health and Behavior Risk Survey, conducted by the National Institute of Statistics of Mozambique, with technical assistance from the CDC. The sample include 5,338 women and 5,150 men aged 15-24. Respondents assessed their risk of HIV infection as: none; small; moderate; high; and when in time such risk was perceived. We compare respondentsí self-assessment of risk with a post data collection risk definition based on current sexual behaviour.

Results show that most youth know at least one mode of HIV transmission, but lack a general understanding of the disease. We estimate that 17% of women 15-24 that reported being at no risk for contracting AIDS and 40% who reported to be at low risk, are actually at moderate to high risk of contracting HIV. Similarly, 19% of men who report being at no risk and 37% of those at low risk, can actually be considered at moderate to high risk. Individuals who reported moderate to high risk, mentioned a variety of behavioral changes in response to knowledge of their risk, including condom use.

This study will argue that correct assessment of risk can lead to action to minimize it. Educational campaigns messages should address tactics for individuals to assess their own risk and encourage behavior change based on such risk.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Adolescent Health, HIV Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: I am employed by the organization who conducted the study

Reproductive Health: Meeting the Challenge of HIV/STI Prevention

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