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AIDS Educ Prev. 1999 Dec;11(6):513-24.

What high-risk women are telling us about access to primary and reproductive health care and HIV prevention services.

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  • 1University of California, San Francisco, 94118, USA.


Focus group discussions on barriers to health care and attitudes toward family planning, reproductive health services, and condom use were conducted with 63 women at high risk for HIV due to their own injection drug use, sex with injection drug users, sex industry work, or a history of multiple sexually transmitted diseases. Barriers identified include the high cost of health care, perceived poor quality of care and experiences of discrimination and stigmatization, geographic accessibility, fear of legal/social services punitive actions, misperceptions about the efficacy of birth control methods and condom usage, lack of sterilization services, and lack of male involvement. Where possible, findings from the focus groups are supported with quantitative survey data from a sample of high-risk women (n = 723). Recommendations are made for improving care for high-risk women.

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