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Revista de Saúde Pública

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FIGUEIREDO, Regina  and  AYRES, José Ricardo CM. Community based intervention and reduction of women's vulnerability to STD/AIDS in Brazil. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2002, vol.36, n.4, suppl., pp. 96-107. ISSN 0034-8910.

OBJECTIVES: Despite the growing number of AIDS cases in women reported, community-based interventions, which are essential in this context, are scarce and rarely evaluated. The aim of this study was to carry out a community-based research intervention, to develop and evaluate a set of STD/ AIDS prevention actions targeting the vulnerability of low income women population. METHODS: The study was carried out in Monte Azul slum in the city of São Paulo, SP, Brazil, in the period 1998-1999. The following actions were put in place: training of health professionals from the local outpatient clinic, availability of prevention resources (male and female condoms), educational groups, educational materials and community radio programs. For evaluating intervention, data from four different research instruments were assessed: pre and post training testing of health professionals, monitoring of condom supply, direct observation of community activities, and record of health professionals and target population's voluntary statements during activities. RESULTS: It was observed an increase in demand for male condom and an interest in female condoms. There were relevant gender and age differences in adhering to proposed activities. Although there were good results regarding sensitization and training of health professionals, their involvement in prevention activities was limited. CONCLUSIONS: Strategies relating to codes, demands and specific interests of the local society, especially those related to gender roles, have successfully performed as preventive actions. Health professionals' overwork at the local outpatient clinic proved to be an important limitation for maintaining preventive actions.

Keywords : Women; Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome [prevention & control]; Sexually transmitted diseases [prevention & control]; Community participation; Vulnerability; Socioeconomic factors; Poverty areas; Health promotion; Health education; Result evaluation of preventive actions; Gender.

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