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The “Swiss Statement”: Who knows about it? How do they know? What are its effects on people living with HIV/AIDS?

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The publication of the “Swiss Statement” in 2008 shook the international HIV prevention and advocacy scene. HIV behavioral research has provided us with some studies focusing on the potential changes that new prevention strategies can produce, but results are not conclusive. Besides, there is a lack of data concerning awareness of these kinds of prevention strategies on real-life settings, studying mainly the behavior of people recruited in different types of trials (e.g., circumcision, pre and post-exposure prophylaxis). The present study aims to (1) identify the factors associated with awareness of the “Swiss Statement” among PLWHA, (2) determine in which setting they became aware of it, and (3) look for potential, behavioral, and/or emotional changes as a consequence of this awareness. In order to achieve these three objectives, we used the data collected by a community-based survey called “HIV, Hepatitis and you.” In order to determine the factors associated with the awareness of the Swiss Statement, univariate and multivariate logistic regression were performed. Main results show that among the 997 HIV-positive people answering the questionnaire, 57% knew about the Swiss Statement, and that their main source of information was the associative setting, while 30% declared having found out about it from their doctor. As for the factors associated with the awareness of the Swiss Statement, we found that the following variables were significantly associated with such awareness: living in stable housing, having a CD4 count above 350 cell/mm3, having an undetectable viral load, being in contact with a HIV-solidarity network, feeling of belonging to the LGBT community, and filling out the questionnaire online. The results of this study point out that interventions addressed to improve access to health-related information for PLWHA facing socioeconomical difficulties and isolation are strongly needed.

Keywords: PLWHA; Swiss Statement; health-related information access; prevention strategies; social vulnerability

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Mission Innovation, Recherche, Evaluation (MIRE),AIDES, Paris, France 2: U912 (SESSTIM),INSERM, Marseille, France 3: National Actions,AIDES, Paris, France

Publication date: August 1, 2012

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