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J Int AIDS Soc. 2009 Nov 19;12:35. doi: 10.1186/1758-2652-12-35.

India-US collaboration to prevent adolescent HIV infection: the feasibility of a family-based HIV-prevention intervention for rural Indian youth.

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  • 1Columbia University School of Social Work, New York, NY, USA. rg650@columbia.edu.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite the centrality of family in Indian society, relatively little is known about family-based communication concerning sexual behaviour and HIV/AIDS in rural Indian families. To date, very few family-based adolescent HIV-prevention interventions have been developed for rural Indian youth. This study conducted formative research with youth aged 14 to18 years and their parents in order to assess the feasibility of conducting a family-based HIV-prevention intervention for rural Indian adolescents.

METHODS:

Eight focus groups were conducted (n = 46) with mothers, fathers, adolescent females and adolescent males (two focus groups were held for each of the four groups). All focus groups consisted of same-gender participants. Adolescents aged 14 to18 years old and their parents were recruited from a tribal community in rural Maharashtra, India. Focus group transcripts were content analyzed to identify themes related to family perceptions about HIV/AIDS and participation in a family-based intervention to reduce adolescent vulnerability to HIV infection.

RESULTS:

Six primary thematic areas were identified: (1) family knowledge about HIV/AIDS; (2) family perceptions about adolescent vulnerability to HIV infection; (3) feasibility of a family-based programme to prevent adolescent HIV infection; (4) barriers to participation; (5) recruitment and retention strategies; and (6) preferred content for an adolescent HIV prevention intervention.

CONCLUSION:

Despite suggestions that family-based approaches to preventing adolescent HIV infection may be culturally inappropriate, our results suggest that a family-based intervention to prevent adolescent HIV infection is feasible if it: (1) provides families with comprehensive HIV prevention strategies and knowledge; (2) addresses barriers to participation; (3) is adolescent friendly, flexible and convenient; and (4) is developmentally and culturally appropriate for rural Indian families.

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