eISSN: 1732-2707
ISSN: 1730-1270
HIV & AIDS Review. International Journal of HIV-Related Problems
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3/2017
vol. 16
 
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abstract:
Research paper

Attitudes towards premarital HIV testing among high-school students in the United Arab Emirates, and evaluation of an educational intervention

Maria Ganczak
,
Peter Barss
,
Michal Grivna
,
Marcin Korzeń
,
Roos Bernsen
,
Beata Karakiewicz
,
Fatma Al Maskari

HIV AIDS Rev 2017; 16, 3: 183-190
Online publish date: 2017/10/04
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Introduction: The aim of the study was to evaluate acceptance of compulsory premarital HIV testing (PHT) among high-school students, and factors associated with support for various options given a positive result, before/after an educational intervention.

Material and methods: A pre-/post-interventional evaluation survey was conducted in 18 randomly selected schools in Al Ain and Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates, before or immediately after a 90-minute intervention by medical students. Descriptive analysis was completed by SPSS, adjusted odds ratios (OR) using multilevel logistic regression with R.

Results: One thousand nine hundred and three (99.6%) students participated in the survey (mean age, 17.6 years). Pre-intervention 91% supported compulsory PHT of a prospective spouse and 9% left the decision to parents; post-intervention 95% and 5%; p < 0.001). For a positive test, 36% would openly reveal the prospective spouse’s status (32%, post-intervention). Adjusted by logistic regression, pre-intervention support to report HIV-positive test result shows correlation with male gender (OR, 1.85), high level of HIV/AIDS knowledge (OR, 1.37), negative attitudes towards PLHIV (OR, 1.47), and Emirati citizenship (OR, 1.43). Post-intervention, the values were: 0.87, 1.72, 2.17, 0.84, respectively.

Conclusions: High acceptance of compulsory PHT among young Arabs suggests per-ceived vulnerability to HIV during marriage. Positive results may be socially isolating. Educational interventions of youth can be effective in reducing HIV-related stigma, and facilitate independent decisions about testing.
keywords:

premarital, HIV testing, Arab, students, educational intervention

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