HIV/AIDS Knowledge and Beliefs Among Haitian Adolescents in Miami-Dade County, Florida

J HIV AIDS Prev Child Youth. 2006;7(1):121-138. doi: 10.1300/J499v07n01_07.


This study examined HIV/AIDS knowledge and beliefs in Haitian adolescents in an HIV epicenter, Miami-Dade Florida. This study examined survey data from 300 Haitian adolescents, aged 13 through 18, from both low-and middle-income neighborhoods. A sub-sample of 80 adolescents was selected for in-depth interviews and continuous observations with their families and networks of friends, which added rich descriptions to the quantitative data. Overall knowledge about HIV/AIDS was high with the majority of adolescents identifying unprotected sex and sharing injection drug needles as HIV transmission routes. Moreover, approximately 75% of the adolescents reported condom use as an effective preventive strategy. However, misconceptions that could reduce adolescents' adoption of HIV preventive strategies were also identified. The adolescents' sources for information about HIV/AIDS as well as implications for prevention interventions are discussed.