, Volume 83, Issue 4, pp 625-636
Date: 18 May 2006

Determinants of HIV/AIDS Risk Behaviors in Expectant Fathers in Haiti

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Abstract

Haiti has an HIV/AIDS epidemic of the highest magnitude outside of sub-Saharan Africa. Factors such as relationship power imbalances, traditional gender role acceptance, and patriarchal belief systems that devalue women's sexuality have increased Haitian women's vulnerability to HIV infection. Because of these influences and since the HIV epidemic is largely heterosexually transmitted, it is important to understand the role that men's beliefs and behaviors play in the continuing risk of young men and women in Haiti. The purpose of this study was to gather information from male community members through semi-structured interviews in order to describe the prevalence of HIV/AIDS risk behaviors (e.g., condom use, number of sexual partners) among expectant fathers in Haiti and identify predictive psychosocial variables of HIV/AIDS risk behaviors. Results from this study showed that men who were not married (OR = 0.22, p = 0.05) and men who had medium (OR = 22.50, p < 0.001) and high sexual communication (OR = 36.51, p < 0.001) were more likely to use condoms. This study also showed that high stigma associated with HIV (OR = 16.07, p < 0.05), low HIV knowledge (OR = 0.10, p < 0.01), and high decision making power (OR = 62.52, p < 0.001) were predictors of multiple sex partners for the expectant fathers in the sample. HIV prevention programs should be designed to increase knowledge about HIV transmission, treatment, prevention and personal risk of contraction as well as correct misconceptions about individuals with HIV or AIDS and promote sex communication among partners.

Magee and Kershaw are with the Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA; Small is with the Department of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA; Frederic and Joseph are with the Hoˆ pital Albert Schweitzer, Deschappelles, Haiti; Joseph is with the Department of Health Administration and Public Health, Universite de Montreal, Montreal, Canada.