Methods: A quasi-experimental study was conducted among HIV-negative adult heterosexual partners of HIV-infected patients. The intervention was an educational program consisting of a 1-hour educational session on knowledge about HIV infection and transmission prevention, a condom use teaching session, group discussion and experience sharing and free HIV testing. Self-administered survey was conducted pre- and post-intervention on the same day to assess effectiveness of the program in improving HIV knowledge and changing attitudes toward HIV prevention. The participants were invited to participate in the program again 6 months later to assess retention of the knowledge and positive attitudes and practices to prevent HIV.
Results: A total of 88 participants were enrolled. The median age was 39 years and 49 (56%) were male. The median number of correct answers to the 30 statements about HIV infection and transmission prevention was significantly higher after the program compared to before the program (28 vs. 21; P<0.001). After the program, higher proportions of the participants would encourage treatment of their HIV-infected partners (77% vs. 58%), use pre-exposure prophylaxis (59% vs. 38%), have a regular HIV blood test every 6 months (94% vs. 81%) and think that they and their partners can have a baby together safely with the current HIV transmission prevention strategies (48% vs. 17%) compared to before the program (all P<0.05). Among the 35 participants who participated in the educational program twice, most of the knowledge and positive attitudes were retained. The rates of regular HIV testing every 6 months and consistent condom use had increased from baseline to 6 months later (29% to 74% and 71% to 91%, respectively). None of the participants acquired HIV from their partners.
Conclusion: The educational program was shown to be effective in improving HIV knowledge, attitudes, and practices toward HIV prevention among the seronegative partners.
K. Chunloy, None