XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Differences in HIV risk behaviors across gender

C. Maxwell, M. Holt-Brockenbrough, N. Retland, C. Shamil, A. Getahun, N. Adoko, A. Abdulahe

Howard University, Washington, DC, United States

Background: Overall, 3% of all residents in the District of Columbia are currently known to be living with HIV/AIDS. It has been observed that HIV-related risk behaviors differ across the population with respect to gender. Heterosexual transmission accounted for the majority of women living with HIV/AIDS infection, 57.8%. Transmission due to injection drug use (IDU) accounted for 14.8% in men and 26.7% in women. Through this study, Howard University Hospital (HUH) seeks to identify if there is an association between gender and risk behavior reporting.
Free rapid HIV screening was offered to persons older than 18 years of age through the use of an oral rapid HIV-1/2 antibody test throughout HUH. Demographic information was collected from persons screened. Additionally, those screened were asked to identify their own HIV-related risk behaviors. Data for a three-year period were collected and compiled in a database.
Results: Of the 34,480 persons screened for HIV infection, 5,389 (15.6%) reported HIV-related risk behaviors; 3,074 (57.0%) were women and 2,315 (42.9%) men. Women were more likely to report HIV-related risk behaviors than men. The most common risk factor reported across gender was sex without a condom (94.3%). Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) were reported with approximately the same frequency, while the highest number of IDU was reported by men (69.2%).
There is a strong association between gender and the self-identification of risk behaviors (p< 0.05). This suggests an increased need for gender specific HIV risk behavior education.

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