Practices related to HIV infection in the Brazilian young population aged 15-24, 2008
M. Arruda1, E.M. dos Santos2, A.R. Pascom1
1Minister of Healh, Brasilia, Brazil, 2FIOCRUZ/ENSP, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Background: UNAIDS estimates that 45% of HIV new infections are among young people between the ages of 15 and 24. In Brazil, 11% of reported aids cases since 1982 were within youngsters. This paper analyzes the risk practices related to HIV infection among Brazilian youngsters.
Methods: A nationwide household survey was carried out in 2008 with 8000 interviews among individuals aged 15-64. Sampling was stratified by geographical region and urban/rural localization.
Results: Although the level of knowledge about HIV/AIDS in this age group was greater than 90%, this percentage was lower than in individuals aged 25 and 64. In regard to sex practices, 35% of young people reported having had sex intercourse before the age of 15. Almost 15% reported more than five sexual partners in the past 12 months. These proportions were 24% and 7%, respectively, in the age group 25-64. The condom use was more frequent between youngsters than older individuals, as well. The use of condom during the first intercourse was three times higher among younger than older individuals (61% and 21%, respectively). Sixty eight percent of young individuals reported condom use during the last intercourse with casual partner compared, The percentage was 52% among older individuals.
Conclusions: Despite the high percentage of young individuals with a good level of knowledge and reported use of condom, the population aged 15-24, as a whole, may be at a greater risk for HIV infection, because a high proportion of them initiate their sexual life before 15 and have casual partners more frequently. These results show the necessity to improve the quality and coverage of prevention interventions focused on this population.
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