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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 9  |  Page : 419-426

Sexual behavior and attitude towards HIV testing among non-HIV testers in a developing nation: A public health concern

1 Department of Community Health and Psychiatry, the University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston, Jamaica
2 King Graduate School, Monroe College, 2375 Jerome Avenue, Bronx; Center for Victim Support, Harlem Hospital Center, New York, USA

Correspondence Address:
Paul A Bourne
Department of Community Health and Psychiatry, Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, Mona, Kingston
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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Background : HIV/AIDS is a problem in developing countries including Jamaica. There are several studies dealing with HIV/AIDS in Jamaica but given the increasing rate of the infection, ongoing studies are necessary. Aims : This study examines the sexual behavior and attitude of non-HIV testers in Jamaica in order to provide research evidence that will direct public health policies and interventions. Materials and Methods : This study extracts a sample of 1,192 participants who indicated not having done a HIV test from 1,800 respondents from a 2004 HIV/AIDS/STD National KABP Survey. A detailed questionnaire was developed and used to collect data from people ages 15-49 years old. Results : Some 20.3 % of the variances, which is self reported positive HIV test results, are a function of relationship status, using protection against HIV, having sex with a commercial sex worker, having STIs, the age at which the participant first had sex and age at last birthday. These findings hold across gender, occupational status and education. The majority (87.9%) of the participants said they had little or no chance of getting HIV, and 59.7% did not want to know their HIV status. However, 46.6% did not wear a condom the first time they had sex with current partner, 32% do not wear a condom with their current partner and 16.3% reported having had STIs. Conclusion : The existing HIV prevention programs need to be expanded and fortified to target young Jamaicans, particularly those who do not engage in safe sexual practices.

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