XVIII International AIDS Conference


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Identifying predictors of HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes and practices among youth in Italy

M. Fontes1, P. Roach2

1Durex Network, Research and Evaluation unit, Brasilia, Brazil, 2Durex Network, London, United Kingdom

Objectives: Despite a reduction in reported new cases of HIV/AIDS in Italy during the past 5 years, there are still groups, especially youth, that are vulnerable to lack of sex and relationships education and are not using protection against HIV/AIDS. Thus, the main objective of this study is to assess the HIV/AIDS KAP status among youth in Italy aged 15 to 20 years and identify key predictors for higher levels of risk for HIV/AIDS.
Methods: Findings from this study are based on responses to a Youth Trends Web-based survey carried out between December 2009 and January 2010 among youngsters in Italy. Set margin of error was 3% (n=900) probabilistic sampling. Out of the 953 responses reached, 674 were sexually active. Descriptive statistics and a robust multiple linear regression model was developed to identify the predictor relationship between seven independent variables and a 42-item HIV/AIDS KAP Scale (Conbrach´s alpha>0.7). Ethics committee approval received from Ghent University, Belgium.
Results: Use of condoms at last sex was 70.5% (CI95% 67.0;74.0) for non-virgins. Gender, parents, number of sexual partners, living with parents/alone, public education, and doctors as the main sources of sex education are predictors of higher HIV/AIDS KAP levels (p-value< 0.05). Relationship status, and all other sources of sex education have no association. Parents as main source of sex education improve the mean level of KAP by 6.5 points (CI95% 2.0; 11.0). Young males score significantly lower if compared to females by -3.8 points (CI95% -6.4; -1.2).
Conclusions: Findings identified areas which have direct bearing on HIV/AIDS activities: a) need for parents to engage in sex education of their children and periodical visits to a doctor; b) re-emphasizes the importance of creating targeted opportunities for young males to participate in HIV/AIDS programs; and c) importance to ensure that youth with multiple sex partners are using proper protection.

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