Multiple Partnerships and HIV among the Garifuna Minority Population in Belize
Justin Buszin, Brown University and Population Services International (PSI)
Benjamin Nieto-Andrade, Population Services International (PSI)
Jorge Rivas, Population Services International (PSI)
Kim Longfield, Population Services International (PSI)
The Garifunas are believed to have the highest HIV rate among all ethnic groups in Belize, at 8%. Cultural barriers have led to difficulties in understanding how HIV is viewed in this community and why prevalence is higher in this population. We conducted a study of 530 Garifunas in 2007, to explore abstinence, faithfulness and condom use measures. We found 50% of the sample had more than one partner in the last 30 days, and greater knowledge of HIV transmission is associated with higher chances of having multiple partners. We also found that young male Garifunas are more likely to have multiple partners. Segmenting the population between those who practiced concurrency in the past 30 days and those who did not, we found that Garifunas who exhibit higher means on the internal locus of control measure are more likely to have multiple partners.