Online Program

Predictors of HIV-related Knowledge and Risk Behavior among school-attending teenagers in Esmeraldas, Ecuador

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 12:56 p.m. - 1:09 p.m.

Miguel Reina-Ortiz, MD, MS, MPH, PhD, Department of Global Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL
Isabel Hernandez, RN, MPH, Facultad de Enfermeria, Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Ecuador, Quito, Ecuador
Vinita Sharma, MPH, Department of Community and Family Health, College of Public Health, University of South Florida, College of Public Health, Tampa, FL
Carlos Rosas, M.D., Colegio de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Quito, Ecuador
Enrique Teran, M.D., Ph.D, Colegio de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Quito, Ecuador
Ricardo Izurieta, MD, Dr.PH, MPH, College of Public Health, USF, Tampa, FL
Background: Recent studies (2008) show that HIV/AIDS cases have steadily increased in Ecuador, especially among young population. The province of Esmeraldas, where 45% of people are African-descendants, disproportionately holds the third highest incidence rate in the country. This study aims at elucidating the factors affecting knowledge and risk-taking behavior among school-attending teenagers in Esmeraldas, Ecuador.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey on HIV/AIDS and its determinants among school-attending youth studying in the Province of Esmeraldas was conducted. Information on 55 variables were clustered to represent four spheres based on which analysis was carried out: a) Socio-demographic context (predictors), b) General knowledge of STIs (outcome 1), c) comprehensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS (outcome 2); and, d) Risk behaviors (outcome 3). Each outcome was measured as a composite variable condensing information from 5, 15, and 10 questions, respectively. Student´s T test and chi-square statistics were used in bivariate analysis whereas three logistic regression models were run independently. 
Results: The proportion of single young people was higher in low and medium risk behavior when compared to those in high risk. In fact, after controlling for confounders, age was found to be significantly associated with both Comprehensive Knowledge of HIV/STIs (CHK) and Risk Behaviors (RB) (p=0.01 and 0.02, respectively) whereas marital status showed a borderline association with both General Knowledge of STIs and (GKS) and RB (p=0.07, both).
Conclusions: Age was an important predictor of both CKH and RB among school-attending teenagers. Further research in this subject is needed to dissect the effect of age and marital status on GKS as well as CKH and RB using a larger sample size. A study of the correlation between different levels of GKS, CKH and RB with HIV transmission rate could also help inform and improve existing HIV prevention programs.

Learning Areas:

Diversity and culture
Public health or related research
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the current level of Knowledge among school-attending teenagers in Esmeraldas, Ecuador. Describe the patterns of sexual risk behavior practice among school-attending teenagers in Esmeraldas, Ecuador. Identify predictors of both Knowledge and Risk behavior among school attending teenagers in Esmeraldas, Ecuador.

Keyword(s): HIV/AIDS, HIV Risk Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have skills in qualitative and quantitative research methods acquired through Masters and Doctoral level courses and research experience. My research interest is HIV/AIDS. I have over 8 years of experience working in the field of HIV prevention with national and international agencies.
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: 4238.0: HIV/AIDS