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Cultural factors in prevention of HIV in indigenous women in Ecuador
M. Segura Villalva
Background: In Ecuador, the HIV epidemic is expanding to the heterosexual, young, and female populations. Information about how the epidemic affects the indigenous population is scarce. According to ENDEMAIN 2004, 65.9% of white and mestizo Ecuadorian women have a working knowledge of HIV and AIDS. However, the percentage within the indigenous population is only 24.3%. Sixty-seven percent of the mestiza population is aware of a screening test, while awareness in the indigenous community is only 34%. Based on this data, it can be inferred that there is a higher vulnerability to HIV in the indigenous population based on an ethnic and linguistic bias.
Methods: Family Care International (FCI)/Ecuador, with AECI’ support, is conducting an analysis that looks into the degree of inclusion of cultural factors that may increase vulnerability, in the Strategic Multisectorial Plan 2007-2015. Set forth by the Ministry of Public Health, it provides a framework for the implementation of public policy concerning HIV and AIDS in Ecuador.
In parallel, FCI/Ecuador is conducting a qualitative study from January to July 2008 to identify the knowledge, attitudes, and practices of indigenous Ecuadorian women of the coast, Sierra, the Amazon regions in relation to STIs and HIV.
Conclusions: The results obtained from the studies will provide information for strategizing on how best to integrate traditional indigenous conceptions of health/disease, prevention/cure, etc. into national plans and campaigns for prevention and increased access to treatment. In addition, it will provide qualitative data on the unmet needs of the indigenous population in the areas of STIs, HIV, and AIDS. The information will help minimize the cultural factors that contribute to the vulnerability of certain indigenous populations within Ecuador. The study is underway and results will be ready for presentation at the conference.
AIDS 2008 – XVII International AIDS Conference
Abstract no. WEAX0304
” M. Segura Villalva Cultural factors in prevention of HIV in indigenous women in Ecuador. Oral Abstract Session: AIDS 2008 – XVII International AIDS Conference: Abstract no. WEAX0304″