Perceptions of HIV risk among monogamous wives of alcoholic men in South India: A qualitative study (HTML)
Varma,Deepthi S.; Chandra,Prabha S.; Callahan,Catina; Reich,Wendy; Cottler,Linda B.
Journal of Women's Health 19(4): 815-821
Publication date: 2010
To understand women's perceptions of their own HIV risk and to determine the feasibility of conducting an HIV prevention study.
Two focus groups were conducted in November 2004 with wives of heavy drinkers admitted to the Deaddiction Unit at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in Bangalore, India. Data were analyzed using content analysis.
Results focused on (1) awareness of the women regarding HIV/AIDS and condom use, (2) perception of personal risk for HIV/AIDS and the risk of their spouses, and (3) the feasibility of a future community-based HIV prevention study. Focus group findings indicated that although the majority of the women were aware of HIV/AIDS, there were important misconceptions about the mode of transmission. Women acknowledged the potential risk for HIV associated with their spouse's drinking, as well as their extramarital sexual activities, but expressed an inability to negotiate safer sex behaviors, such as condom use, within the context of marriage. This was often expressed as fear of being physically abused for attempting such negotiations. All women agreed that the HIV prevention study we proposed, originally developed in the West, would be acceptable if tailored to specific local needs. The women provided valuable suggestions for the effective implementation of the study.
The findings of this study indicate a critical need to develop culturally relevant HIV prevention programs directly targeted to wives that equip them with effective skills to negotiate safer sex behaviors with their spouses.
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