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Revista de Saúde Pública

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SIMON, Cristiane Paulin; SILVA, Rosalina Carvalho da  and  PAIVA, Vera. Female juvenile prostitution and AIDS prevention programs in Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2002, vol.36, n.4, suppl., pp. 82-87. ISSN 0034-8910.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate perception of AIDS and to obtain information for developing AIDS prevention programs targeting female juvenile prostitution. METHODS: Thirteen young women aged 18 to 21 years working as prostitutes in the city of Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, were interviewed using semi-structured interviews. The questionnaire focused on sociodemographic aspects, HIV-related knowledge, sexual behavior, relations with clients and other sexual partners, and suggestions for sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and AIDS prevention programs. RESULTS: Though all subjects demonstrated knowledge of safe sex and HIV transmission, this contrasted with their belief that destiny determines who gets infected and their search for affection in their relationships with partners and clients. These contradictions act as possible factors preventing safe sex behavior. CONCLUSIONS: The strategies of HIV/AIDS prevention should incorporate the need of allowing room for discussion in order to clarify this group's social imaginary beliefs and concepts about AIDS. In addition, discussions about the belief in the safety of affective relationships should take place since this encourages unsafe sexual practices. Another key issue is how to approach this group and strategies sensitive to their individualities should be applied.

Keywords : Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [prevention & control]; Prostitution; Adolescence; Knowledge, attitudes, practice; Sex behavior; HIV infections [prevention & control]; Health promotion; Prevention programs.

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