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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3244.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - Board 4

Abstract #109528

HIV-related stigma and risk among youth in Nicaragua

Irela Solorzano1, Rodolfo Peña, PhD2, Oswaldo Montoya3, Amy Bank1, Humberto Abaunza1, Jeanneth Corrales1, Mary C. Ellsberg, PhD4, and Julie Pulerwitz, ScD5. (1) Puntos de Encuentro, Apdo Postal RP-39, Managua, Nicaragua, (2) Department of Preventive Medicine, University of León, Edificio Central, Contiguo a Ig. La Merced, León, Nicaragua, (3) Asociación de Hombres Contra la Violencia, Residencial El Dorado, Farmacia Salazar 2c. al sur, Casa #51, Managua, Nicaragua, (4) Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), 1600 K St. N.W., Suite 800, Washington, DC 20006, (5) Horizons project, PATH, 4301 Connecticut Avenue N.W., Suite 280, Washington DC, DC 20008, (202) 237-9400, jpulerwitz@pcdc.org

HIV-related stigma is acknowledged as a major barrier to HIV prevention and care, but few large-scale studies have quantified this relationship among youth. Data were collected from a random sample of 4,567 male and female youth aged 13-24 in 3 large municipalities in Nicaragua. This research presents one of the first representative samples of 13-24 year olds in Nicaragua. HIV-related knowledge was relatively high, with 95% reporting that HIV had no cure, and 75% reporting that using condoms prevents transmission. Yet, risk behaviors were also substantial. Of sexually experienced youth (about half of the sample), 40% had occasional partners during the last 6 months. Only 31% used condoms consistently with occasional partners. 14% had ever taken an HIV test. HIV-related stigma was a major factor, as half of youth reported that homosexuals and sex workers were to blame for HIV, and only about half would be friends with someone living with HIV/AIDS. Three-fourths of respondents stated that a person with HIV/AIDS would be abandoned by their partner. Follow up data with this cohort of youth, after 6 months of a national ‘telenovela', radio show and community-based activities focused on stigma and HIV risk reduction, are currently being analyzed.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: HIV Risk Behavior, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

HIV/AIDS: Care and Prevention across Diverse Settings

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA