259835 Community perception, acceptance, stigma, and knowledge of HIV prevention and treatment in urban Ethiopia; a qualitative approach

Monday, October 29, 2012 : 12:45 PM - 1:00 PM

Ramin Asgary, MD, MPH , Dept of Medicine, and the Center of Global Health, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Sheila Antony, MD , Medical Education, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY
Zoya Grigoryan, BA , Biology, Hunter College, CUNY, New York, NY
BACKGROUND Around one million people with HIV live in Ethiopia. We evaluated the community perception and knowledge of HIV and AIDS, and the prevention and treatment and the misconceptions about HIV and AIDS in Addis Ababa. METHOD We conducted 14 focus groups with convenient sample of HIV+ and HIV- subjects (n=52), consisting of open-ended questions. We transcribed, coded and analyzed data for major themes. RESULTS Eighty-three percent were women. The majority of both HIV+ and HIV- subjects believe that holy water can cure HIV. Less than half of HIV- subjects believe that medications can treat HIV versus overwhelming majority of HIV+ subjects. Moreover, majority of HIV+ subjects believe that medication and holy water can be taken together versus less than half of HIV- subjects. The majority of HIV+ subjects elaborated that taking HIV medication is not accepted in the community (comparing to minority of HIV- subjects), overwhelmingly they felt pressured to stop HIV medications in favor of holy water, and majority felt afraid to take the medication in public. CONCLUSION The misconceptions, lack of knowledge, and stigma about acceptance and treatment of HIV, which exists in Addis Ababa could serve as significant barriers to proper prevention and management of HIV. Ongoing education of the community and strategies to raise awareness and demonstrate success of treatment strategies are crucial.

Learning Areas:
Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Advocacy for health and health education
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
To describe community perception, stigma and discrimination toward people living with HIV and AIDS in developing regions , and to evaluate the effects of these factors on health of persons with HIV and AIDS To list major strategies to address these determinants of health

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Community Education

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a global health educator and practitioner with extensive working experience in developing countries and evaluating public health programs. I designed and implemented the study, analyzed data, and drafted and finalized the manuscript and abstract.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.

Back to: 3240.0: HIV/AIDS