This study investigated educational needs of female injecting heroin users in Taiwan relating to HIV/AIDS prevention via six focus group discussions in a prison. All sessions were audiotaped with respondents' consent and the discussions transcribed verbatim. The findings indicated that respondents had adequate knowledge about HIV/AIDS, but held misconceptions regarding the modes of HIV transmission. Many respondents who did not perceive themselves susceptible to AIDS rarely used condoms and occasionally shared needles. Stigma surrounding AIDS is pervasive among respondents and they considered contracting cancer would be preferable to having AIDS; the latter could precipitate suicide. Lastly, many respondents had no confidence in assurances of confidentiality regarding HIV testing. Issues of misconceptions, high-risk behaviors, stigma surrounding AIDS and confidentiality of HIV testing must be addressed in appropriate HIV/AIDS education programmes with respect to the needs of female injecting heroin users.
ASJC Scopus subject areas