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Gaceta Sanitaria

Print version ISSN 0213-9111


RIOS, Erika et al. Knowledge of HIV and sexually-transmitted diseases in Latin American and Maghrebi immigrants in Catalonia (Spain). Gac Sanit [online]. 2009, vol.23, n.6, pp.533-538. ISSN 0213-9111.

Objectives: To describe and compare levels of knowledge about HIV/AIDS and condom use in the immigrant population. Method: We performed a cross-sectional study by means of a semi-structured questionnaire and face-to face interviews in 238 Latin American and Maghrebi users of medical centers in the Barcelona and North Barcelona-Maresme health areas. The questionnaire included sociodemographic variables and questions on sexual behavior and general knowledge about HIV/AIDS, transmission mechanisms, and means of prevention. A logistic regression model was used to identify the determinants of ‘inadequate knowledge of HIV/AIDS'. Results: A total of 53.8% of interviewees had inadequate knowledge of HIV/AIDS. Univariate analysis showed inadequate knowledge to be associated with being from the Maghreb, not living in Barcelona, being without work and not having educational qualifications. Multivariate analysis revealed that the only variables significantly associated with inadequate knowledge were being from the Maghreb as opposed to being from Latin America (OR=4.99; 95% CI: 2.74-5.10) and being unemployed as opposed to being employed (OR=2.59; 95% IC: 1.42-4.73). Condoms were seen as an effective prevention method, but 42.1% of interviewees did not use them in occasional relationships. Conclusions: Knowledge of routes of HIV transmission should be improved and mistaken ideas about infection should be eliminated among Latin American and Maghrebi immigrants. The immigrant population is a vulnerable group that ought to be prioritized to promote prevention programs adapted to its linguistic and cultural specificities.

Keywords : HIV; AIDS; Sexually transmitted infections; Immigration; Knowledge; Attitudes; Sexual behavior.

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