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Preventing HIV transmission among Iranian prisoners

Source: 7thSpace

Initial support for providing education on the benefits of harm reduction practices

Harm reduction is a health-centred approach that seeks to reduce the health and social harms associated with high-risk behaviors, such as illicit drug use. The objective of this study is to determine the association between the beliefs of a group of adult, male prisoners in Iran about the transmission of HIV and their high-risk practices while in prison.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in 2004.

The study population was a random selection of 100 men incarcerated at Rajaei-Shahr prison. The data were collected through a self-administered questionnaire.

Focus group discussions were held at the prison to guide the design of the questionnaire. The relationship between components of the Health Belief Model (HBM) and prisoners' risky HIV-related behaviors was examined.

Results: Calculating Pearson's correlation coefficient, a significant, positive association was found between the benefit component of the HBM and prisoners not engaging in HIV high-risk behaviors.

Conclusion: Educational harm reduction initiatives that promote the effectiveness of strategies designed to reduce the risk of HIV transmission may decrease prisoners' high-risk behaviors. This finding provides initial support for the Iran prison system's current offering of HIV/AIDS harm reduction programming and suggests the need to offer increased education about the effectiveness of HIV prevention practices.

Author: Babak Eshrati, Rahim Taghizadeh Asl, Colleen ANNE Dell, Parviz Afshar, Peggy MARGRET E Millson, Mohammad Kamali and John Weekes
Credits/Source: Harm Reduction Journal 2008, 5:21
Published on: 2008-06-09

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