Barcelona 2013
Barcelona 2013
Abstract book - Abstract - 613
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Conference Details
International Committee
Plenary Speakers
Presenting Speakers
Scientific Committee
Abstract #613  -  Social and Behavior Change Communication to Prevent HIV. Global impact.
  29.1: Social and Behavior Change Communication to Prevent HIV. Global impact. (Lunchtime) on Tuesday @ 13.15-14.15 in Raval Chaired by Michelle Kaufman
  Presenting Author:   Dr Janaki Vidanapathirana - National STD/AIDS Programme, , Sri Lanka
  Additional Authors:  Mr. John Miller, Ms. Kimberley Ibarra, Mr. Frank Wagner,  
Sri Lanka is a low prevalence country for HIV/AIDS. Interventions are aimed at maintaining the low prevalence among high-risk groups. A five-year interactive behavior change communication intervention is currently being implemented under the Global Fund among prisoners on the island. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness and challenges of the HIV prevention programme in prisons after two years of implementation.
Method / Issue:
In 2010, baseline quantitative and qualitative surveys were carried out island wide in prisons to assess current knowledge of HIV and current sexual behaviors. Interventions were then developed with the aim of preventing HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections among the prison community through life skills-based education. This included advocacy, skills building of welfare officers and medical staff on sexual health promotion, and training of trainers among selected inmates to serve as peer leaders. Inmate peer leaders carried out both formal and informal intervention sessions using different communication materials. In addition, STI clinics were established in selected prison hospitals. Voluntary HIV testing was carried out in mobile clinics. In addition, problem-solving workshops were carried out for both trained officers and peer leaders to improve the quality of work. The evaluation included qualitative and quantitative components. Interviewers administered the questionnaire to randomly selected inmates. Focus group discussions (FGDs) were conducted to assess the activities carried out by the peer inmates. In-depth interviews were conducted with selected superintendents, trainers and coordinators of the project to assess effectiveness, challenges, and further recommendations.
Results / Comments:
More than 90% of prisons implemented the HIV/AIDS prevention programme successfully. Three prisons faced difficulty in carryinh out training programmes due to language barriers of trainers. Various types of innovative HIV prevention activities have been implemented in most prisons. 70% of inmates accessed communication materials, and 60% of prisons carried out awareness raising for new recruits through peer inmates. Need of condoms within prisons was highlighted as a barrier to prevention. FGDs revealed many prisoners have taken steps to do non-penetrative sex as an added precaution. Half of the prisons have taken steps to hold mobile or permanent HIV testing clinics. Approximately 5000 individuals were tested for HIV, with 3 inmates testing positive. Higher rates of testing are difficult due to logistic reasons. For knowledge indicators, the quantitative survey showed that 80% of the respondents had satisfactory and good knowledge scores (answered more than 50% of questions correctly) on both transmission and prevention at baseline. The midterm assessment showed these levels increased to 90%. The UNGASS indicator increased to 25% (17% at baseline).
This interactive behavior change communication package is proving effective for HIV/AIDS prevention among prison inmates in Sri Lanka, particularly because it is primarily a peer lead intervention. Continued focus should be placed on continuous use of peer leader training and peer leader. HIV testing facilities should also be increased within prisons to increase testing rates.
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