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.
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