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Social and behavioural aspects of prevention poster session 5: High Risk Groups
P2-S5.04 Behavioural risks and HIV/AIDS knowledge in adolescent street children and their health implications
  1. F Naseem1,
  2. R Ahmad2,
  3. A Rashid3
  1. 1Degree College for Women, Rawalpindi, Pakistan
  2. 2Street NGO, Quetta, Pakistan
  3. 3PMAS Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Abstract

Background In Pakistan social and ethical bindings are major constraints to launch effective awareness campaign or vaccination trial against HIV transmission. Lack of awareness coupled with high risk behaviour could result in AIDS epidemic among adolescents and street children as in these groups coercive and transactional sex is common. We aimed to examine adolescent's behavioural risks and their knowledge about HIV/AIDS. Sources of information regarding HIV/AIDS were analysed for risk behaviour in relation to social factors.

Methods Cross-sectional study was conducted in rural and urban areas of Rawalpindi to gather information from street children (n=148, mean age 17 years). Multivariate analysis was performed to see effect of residential site and gender on AIDS concepts.

Results Among surveyed population, 14% had heard of HIV vaccine and 50% believe HIV vaccine could develop infection. About 33% ever had sex and 10% revealed >1 partner per year. 5% had knowledge about HIV status of partner see Abstract P2-S5.04 Table 1. A high degree of risky behaviour activities correlated with those children who lived in rural areas. Urban area street children were found to explore more sources to grasp HIV information. We found limited availability of documented information to compare the present observations.

Abstract P2-S5.04 Table 1

Multivariate ANOVA for HIV/AIDS knowledge

Conclusions Both the adolescents and street children with poor knowledge about HIV are involved in risky behaviour. Our study propelled the need to consolidate, where relevant, community mobilisation for HIV prevention research throughout the country. Moreover, cross-country documentation must be improved for wider sharing of knowledge. A planned approach with educational sessions seems imperative for developing an effective sexual health safety program.

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