Knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors among a sample of HIV-positive and HIV-negative females visiting an urban VCT center in Haiti

J Health Care Poor Underserved. 2009 May;20(2):554-68. doi: 10.1353/hpu.0.0141.


The knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors of over 43,000 women attending the Groupe Hatien d'Etude du Sarcome de Kaposi et des Infections Opportunistes (GHESKIO) Centers in Haiti between 1999-2004 were examined. Comparative analyses were conducted for several sub-samples. Analyses revealed that across the entire sample, HIV-positive women appeared to engage in more risky behaviors than HIV-negative women (p< .01); however, as a group, pregnant HIV-positive women reported safer behaviors than non-pregnant HIV-positive women (p<.01). Women from all groups were generally knowledgeable about the risk of HIV transmission through dirty needles and mother to child. However, inaccurate information about transmission through supernatural means and mosquitoes was very common. These results suggest that knowledge and education are negatively associated with HIV status in this sample. Addressing gaps in knowledge and behavior and reducing the risky behaviors of HIV-positive individuals are important directions for future programs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • HIV Seropositivity* / transmission
  • Haiti
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Risk-Taking
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Young Adult