Sexual Behavior and Vulnerability to HIV among Brazilian Heterosexual Population

Junia Quiroga, Ministerio de Desenvolvimento Social e Combate a Fome
Neuma Aguiar, Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais
Diana Sawyer, Centro de Desenvolvimento e Planejamento Regional(CEDEPLAR) and Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais

This paper investigates sexual behavior among Brazilian heterosexual population and how it defines men's and women’s degree of vulnerability to HIV. Vulnerability is defined by the association of the pattern of exposure to risk of HIV infection and the ability to answer (which includes both the individual skills to prevent infection and the change of behavior). Methodologically, the study inter-relates quantitative and qualitative approaches. Grade of Membership (GoM) analysis was used to build a vulnerability typology for a sample of 3068 self-identified heterosexual individuals aged 16 to 65 years. Types of more interest were: “circumstantially not exposed individuals”, “highly exposed individuals with high ability to answer”, and “exposed individuals with low ability to answer”. The latest group exhibited the highest degree of vulnerability and was further investigated by using in-depth interviews. Findings are useful to comprehend how the interplay among gender patterns, sexual behavior, and vulnerability to HIV infection.

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Presented in Session 104: Making Sense of Sex, Risk, and STDs/AIDS