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Needs survey of rural and/or indigenous population in the Atitlan Basin related to human development and HIV/AIDS prevention, as well as sex education: an attempt to provide culturally acceptable services for the rural and/or indigenous populations in Guatemala
C E Lopez Chutan
Asociacion Guatemalteca de Centros de Desarrollo Humano, Guatemala, Guatemala
Guatemala has the lowest rates of condom use in Central America. Prevalence of contraceptive use was 31% in 2000. Figures by ethnic group show there is a wide disparity in contraceptive use between Ladinos and Mayan Indians. Contraceptive prevalence was 50 % for the Ladino population in 1998/99 compared with only 13 % for the indigenous population.
Low acceptance of the use of condom in indigenous areas is due to cultural factors as well as to inadequate program design. An analysis of family planning programs in indigenous areas conducted in 1987 indicated that the low acceptance of condom use, in these areas is due primarily to an insufficient and often lacking use of indigenous languages in the training of indigenous staff, in the provision of services, and in the IE&C materials employed.
The Center of Human Development of Guatemala (CDHG)has been providing sex education, with emphasis in STD/HIV/AIDS prevention to youngsters of urban areas of Guatemala City since 1995. Although initially their target population was adults, it became evident, that the need for sex education was equally great among youngsters. Thus, their sex education program began targeting the general population, and, recently, providing condoms and making referrals for other methods as part of their program for youth.
Currently, CDHG is considering to expand its human development programs to remote indigenous areas which have little or no access to health care including sex education. Given the negative public opinion regarding family planning in Guatemala that emerged in the wake of the World Population Conference in 1996, CDHG feels it must approach the subject with extreme cautiousness, when working in indigenous areas. Thus, it is conducting a diagnostic research project to determine which programs of those offered by CDHG are most needed and which is the most efective way to provide HIV/AIDS services in indigenous communities in Guatemala.
The XIV International AIDS Conference
Abstract no. D11353
” C E Lopez Chutan , Needs survey of rural and/or indigenous population in the Atitlan Basin related to human development and HIV/AIDS prevention, as well as sex education: an attempt to provide culturally acceptable services for the rural and/or indigenous populations in Guatemala . Print Only: The XIV International AIDS Conference: Abstract no. D11353″