Knowledge, attitudes and practices on HIV/AIDS and prevalence of HIV in the general population of Sucre, Bolivia

Braz J Infect Dis. Jul-Aug 2015;19(4):369-75. doi: 10.1016/j.bjid.2015.04.002. Epub 2015 May 19.


Background: To analyse knowledge, attitudes and sexual practices on HIV/AIDS, and estimate HIV prevalence among residents of Sucre (Bolivia).

Methodology: Population-based survey of residents aged 15-49 randomly selected during 2008/2009. Blood samples were collected on Whatman-filter paper and tested with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Knowledge on HIV/AIDS, sexual risk practices and discriminatory attitudes against people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) were modelled with multiple logistic regression.

Results: Of 1499 subjects, 59% were women. All subjects were HIV-negative. Inadequate knowledge of HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention was observed in 67% and risk factors varied by gender (interaction p-value<0.05). Discriminatory attitudes were displayed by 85% subjects; associated factors were: rural residence, low educational level and low income. Unsafe sex was reported by 10%; risk factors varied by residence area (interaction p-value<0.05). In urban areas, risk factors were male sex, younger age and being in common-law union.

Conclusions: Prevalence of HIV infection is very low and unsafe sex is relatively uncommon. Inadequate knowledge on HIV/AIDS and discriminatory attitudes towards PLWHA are extremely high and are associated to gender, ethnic and economic inequalities.

Keywords: Attitude towards PLWHA; HIV prevalence; Knowledge on HIV/AIDS; Sexual practices on HIV.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bolivia / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / transmission*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Rural Population
  • Sexual Behavior
  • Urban Population
  • Young Adult