Reproductive health for refugees by refugees in Guinea IV: peer education and HIV knowledge, attitudes, and reported practices

A Woodward, N Howard, Y Souare, S Kollie, A von Roenne, M Borchert

    Research output: Contribution to journalA4: Article in journal not included in A1, A2 or A3peer-review


    BACKGROUND: Both conflict and HIV affect sub-Saharan Africa, and supportive approaches for HIV prevention among refugees are crucial. Peer education has been associated with improved HIV outcomes, though relatively little research has been published on refugee settings. The primary objective of this study was to assess whether exposure to refugee peer education was associated with improved HIV knowledge, attitudes, or practice outcomes among refugees in Guinea. Secondary objectives were to assess whether gender, age, or formal education were more strongly associated than peer education with improved HIV outcomes. METHODS: Data was collected by cross-sectional survey from 889 reproductive-age men and women in 23 camps in the Forest Region of Guinea. Selected exposures (i.e. peer education, gender, formal education, age) were analysed for associations with HIV outcomes using logistic regression odds ratios (OR). RESULTS: Most participants (88%) had heard of HIV, particularly those exposed to peer or formal education. Most correctly identified ways to protect themselves, while maintaining misconceptions about HIV transmission. Women and those exposed to either peer or formal education had significantly fewer misconceptions. Half of participants considered themselves at risk of HIV, women with 52% higher odds than men (adjusted OR 1.52, 95%CI 1.01-2.29). Participants exposed to peer education had more than twice the odds of reporting having made HIV-avoidant behavioural changes than unexposed participants (72% versus 58%; adjusted OR 2.49, 95%CI 1.52-4.08). While women had 57% lower odds than men of reporting HIV-avoidant behavioural changes (OR 0.43, 95%CI 0.31-0.60), women exposed to peer education had greater odds than exposed men of reporting HIV-avoidant changes (OR 2.70 versus OR 1.95). Staying faithful (66%) was the most frequent behavioural change reported. CONCLUSIONS: Peer education was most strongly associated with reported HIV-avoidant behaviour change. Gender was most associated with HIV knowledge and risk perception. Refugee women had fewer misconceptions than men had, but were more likely to report HIV risk and less likely to report making behavioural changes. Peer education appears promising for HIV interventions in chronic-emergency settings, if gender disparities and related barriers to condom usage are also addressed.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalConflict and Health
    Issue number10
    Pages (from-to)1-10
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • B780-tropical-medicine
    • Reproductive health
    • Viral diseases
    • HIV
    • AIDS
    • Epidemiology
    • Refugees
    • Peer education
    • Health education
    • Exposure
    • KAP
    • Knowledge
    • Attitudes
    • Practices
    • Associations
    • Educational status
    • Gender
    • Age
    • Risk behavior
    • Behavior change
    • Refugee camps
    • Guinea
    • Africa-West


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