Author(s): Mcgoon M, Cerelala A, Speith J, Cheer S
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Abstract PIP: This paper looks at the effectiveness of peer education among the wheelbarrow boys in Suva, Fiji, and whether it had an effect on their sexual behavior. The peer education program began in February 1998 in response to evidence concerning the vulnerability of wheelbarrow boys to HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). 8 peer educators who conducted outreach in nightclubs, bars, street corners, amusement centers, taxi stands, and brothels talked to these vulnerable young sexually active people about sex and their knowledge of HIV/AIDS and STDs. The 2 focus groups of 14 participants highlighted the use of condoms to prevent the spread of HIV, and disseminated correct knowledge on how the virus spreads. After many group sessions, issues of sexual health began to unfold and they began to realize the importance of addressing such issues openly. In addition, in-depth information enabling the wheelbarrow boys to make informed choices about their sexual health was consistently disseminated. Such successes have been achieved as a result of the relationship which was developed and sustained over the past 12 months. It was noted that outreach to any vulnerable group is always possible as long as ongoing support, respect, and collaboration is provided.
This article was published in Pac AIDS Alert Bull
and referenced in Journal of Pharmaceutical Care & Health Systems