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HIV prevention program for young urban women in post-conflict Liberia

Background

Young women account for an increasing prevalence of HIV/STDs in Sub-Saharan Africa, including Liberia. Despite being a vulnerable population, there is a significant need for women in post-conflict settings, like Liberia, to be used as stakeholders for gender-based program development in the mitigation of HIV/AIDS.

Methods

Thirty-nine (39) women aged 18-29 years and ten (10) recognized female key informants, recruited from the local community and international organizations, were interviewed by qualitative methods to ascertain their HIV risk behaviors and perceptions regarding the development and implementation of a gender-based HIV prevention program for young women in post-conflict Liberia. The qualitative interviews were audiotaped, transcribed and analyzed for common themes.

Results

Young women in post-conflict settings, like Liberia, are highly susceptible to HIV/STDs from domestic and gender-based violence, psychosocial inequality, household protection, economic and gender-based inequity, and the lack of gender-focused empowerment programs.

Conclusion

Gender-based HIV/STD-related programs, like Sisters Informing Sisters About Topics on AIDS (SISTA), can be culturally adapted to empower young women, as well as mitigate the spread of HIV/STDs in post-conflict settings, like Liberia.

Acknowledgements

Support for this project was provided by the Corporate Development Fund (CDF) of the Pacific Institute for Research & Evaluation (PIRE). Additional contributions were provided by grants [R01 HD 045133 and R21 MH 082666] from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Author information

Correspondence to Ernree Muku Bee.

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Open Access This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Keywords

  • Young Woman
  • Risk Behavior
  • Local Community
  • Program Development
  • Qualitative Method