Evaluation of a Prevention Intervention to Reduce HIV Risk among Angolan Soldiers

Drew CARES, Institute for Community Health Research, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Charles Drew University of Medicine and Science, 1731 East 120th Street, Building N, Los Angeles, CA 90059, USA.
AIDS and Behavior (Impact Factor: 3.49). 06/2008; 12(3):384-95. DOI: 10.1007/s10461-008-9368-2
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We developed and evaluated a military-focused HIV prevention intervention to enhance HIV risk-reduction knowledge, motivation, and behaviors among Angolan soldiers. Twelve bases were randomly assigned to HIV prevention or control conditions, yielding 568 participants. HIV prevention participants received training in preventing HIV (4.5 days) and malaria (0.5 days). Control participants received the reverse. Monthly booster sessions were available after each intervention. We assessed participants at baseline, 3 and 6 months after the training. HIV prevention participants reported greater condom use and less unprotected anal sex at 3 months, as well as greater HIV-related knowledge and perceived vulnerability at 3 and 6 months. Within-group analyses showed HIV prevention participants increased condom use, reduced unprotected vaginal sex, and reduced numbers of partners at both follow-ups, while control participants improved on some outcomes at 3 months only. A military-focused HIV prevention intervention may increase HIV-related knowledge, motivation, and risk reduction among African soldiers.

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    • "Conversely, higher HIV prevalence has been detected among active duty troops than in general population groups, leading to the characterization of military populations as a high-risk group in some contexts [3,7,21]. With regard to risk behavior, some studies speculate that military populations have higher rates of risk behaviors, potentially decreasing ability to generalize prevalence of risk behaviors to a general population of young adults or have military populations serve as a sentinel group for risk behaviors [21]. The regular movement associated with postings and stress related to combat have been posited as reasons for military populations to engage in behaviors placing them at greater risk for STIs, including HIV [3,7,8,21]. "
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