Investigating the sexual protective behaviour among HIV-positive women in Tehran, Iran
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Student Research Committee, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran
Social Determinants of Health Research Center, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran
Department of Community Medicine, School of Medicine, Alborz University of Medical Sciences, Karaj, Iran
Islamic Azad University, Karaj Branch, Karaj, Iran
Iranian Research Center for HIV/AIDS, Iranian Institute for Reduction of High-Risk Behaviors, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Submission date: 2019-03-14
Acceptance date: 2019-05-07
Publication date: 2019-09-09
HIV & AIDS Review 2019;18(3):215-221
The third wave of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is rising due to high-risk sexual behaviours in Iran. In spite of launching programs to combat HIV in Iran, condom use frequency has not yet reached the optimal level, especially in high-risk groups. The aim of this study was to assess the sexual protection behaviours and awareness among HIV-positive women.

Material and methods:
This descriptive study was performed on 100 HIV-positive women who referred to the Voluntary and Counselling Centre (VCT) in Tehran and were recruited using a purposive sampling method. Data collection was carried out using HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) awareness and sexual protection behaviour questionnaires.

Condom use was practiced only by 22.2% in all their vaginal and anal sexual intercourse during the three months, and 77.8% of the women never used condoms or failed to use them continuously. Their sexual partners were HIV-positive in 71% of cases. The mean ± SD of awareness score about HIV/AIDS was 7.60 ± 3.31, indicating average awareness of the subjects in the study. A total of 49.1% of the participants stated that their sexual partners’ reluctance was the most important reason for non-use of condoms, while women were not willing to use condoms in 18.2% of cases.

The results of the present study indicated poor sexual protection behaviours in HIV-positive women. As a result, gender-based harm reduction programs to promote safe sexual behaviour, awareness level, and negotiation power for condom use in HIV-positive women is more important than ever.

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