XVIII International AIDS Conference


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HIV vulnerability of indigenous people in the Northwestern Argentina

L. Rodriguez1, M. Vázquez1, M. Rojo1, V. Argañaraz1, F. Gareca1, M. Romeo2

1Fundacion Huesped, Epidemiology and Prevention, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2Consultora Equis, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Background: Indigenous people (IP) are vulnerable to AIDS epidemic but little is known about their HIV prevention knowledge and practices. A prevention program is developing in Salta and Jujuy provinces, directed to population in reproductive age (14-49 years old) living in low-income areas. 76.7% live just above or below the poverty line and 17% are indigents. 26.6% of the population recognize themselves as belonging to an indigenous community.
Key indicators related to healthcare access, information and safe sex were analyzed to identify the situation before the program implementation. A domiciliary survey was applied on 1280 cases; sampling error +/- 5.61 for symmetric distributions and CI 95%. IP database size was 340 cases. For identifying vulnerabilities on IP they were compared with general population (GP).
Results: 73.2% GP and 79.1% IP did not consult health providers about SRH in 2008, increasing + 90% among men.About HIV transmission knowledge, 85.6 %IP and 88.5% GP identified vaginal sex without protection; 25.9% IP and 34.5% GP identified anal sex; 16.5% IP and 23.6% GP oral sex. Only 5.23% IP and 10.8% GP identified MTCT. Among IP, 33.3% of young and 13.7% of adults used a condom in their first sexual intercourse. Among GP it increases to 43% and 18% respectively.Condom is the major method indentified to prevent HIV and other STD (84.4% IP and 96.3% GP); but 73.4% of IP never or almost never uses condom; among GP it decreases to 63.9%.36.2% IP and 43% GP tested for HIV one time at least.
Conclusions: Indigenous people share barriers to healthcare access with other local poor population but their vulnerability increases because of their lack of preventive information and unsafe sex practices. The study provided relevant information to design specific prevention strategies.
Program supported by an unrestricted grant from Pfizer Inc.

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