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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


GUIMARAES, Patricia Neves; MARTIN, Denise  and  QUIRINO, José. AIDS in rural Minas Gerais state (Southeastern Brazil): a cultural approach. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2007, vol.41, n.3, pp.412-418. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To describe behaviors facilitating HIV/AIDS exposure in rural population. METHODS: A qualitative study was conducted comprising 52 patients who attended a STD/AIDS outpatient clinic in 2002 and 2003. In-depth open and semi-structured interviews were carried out with subjects (30 males, 22 females) at the clinic or at home in rural municipalities in the northern area of Minas Gerais state, Southeastern Brazil. Interviews were transcribed and analyzed considering categories such as disease, work, social life, prior HIV/AIDS knowledge, and lifestyle. Content analysis was used for result interpretation. RESULTS: Interviewees perceived AIDS as a "big city disease", an "outsider's disease", dissociated from local culture. They were all infected through either heterosexual or homosexual sex. Rural-urban migration is a major factor for HIV infection in the area as people migrate to search for jobs. CONCLUSIONS: Popular beliefs about HIV/AIDS disease contributes to HIV vulnerability of this population. There is a need to apprehend their cultural beliefs to better understand their ways of thinking and to focus on these local beliefs when disseminating HIV/AIDS information.

Keywords : Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome; Rural population; Health knowledge [attitudes, practice]; Qualitative research.

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