HIV knowledge and risk behaviors among women in law enforcement in Bogota, Colombia: Potential role as community educators Conference

Míguez-Burbano, MJ, De Pool, I, Hadrigan, S et al. (2005). HIV knowledge and risk behaviors among women in law enforcement in Bogota, Colombia: Potential role as community educators . JOURNAL OF URBAN HEALTH-BULLETIN OF THE NEW YORK ACADEMY OF MEDICINE, 82(SUPPL. 4), 10.1093/jurban/jti107

cited authors

  • Míguez-Burbano, MJ; De Pool, I; Hadrigan, S; Jackson, J; Angarita, I; Then, EP; Burbano, X; Shor-Posner, G


  • As HIV infection is increasing among women, evaluation, prevention, and education campaigns need to target this vulnerable population. Because of their frequent and accepted contact with members of the community, female law officers, if knowledgeable, could be well suited to provide information/ education related to HIV/ STD transmission. A survey of HIV/AIDS knowledge and risk behaviors was administered to 120 law enforcement women (LEW) and 60 women from the general population (GPW) in Bogotá, Colombia. LEW indicated a very high (90%) understanding of basic HIV knowledge. Although most (52%) of the LEW did not report high-risk behaviors, 29% indicated having unprotected sex during menses, and 17% had unprotected anal sex. This contrasts, however, with GPW, who were of similar age, but had a significantly higher prevalence (73%) of risky behaviors (P =.004). Moreover, 52% of the GPW reported having unprotected anal sex, and approximately half of this group (55%) indicated having unprotected sex during menses. Alcohol and drug users were also more prevalent in the GPW: 14% frequently used alcohol and 3% inhaled drugs during sexual encounters, contrasted to 2% of LEW reporting alcohol use. GPW were four times more likely than LEW, to engage in high-risk sexual practices [95% confidence interval (CI) =1.9-10.4, P =0.034]. Multivariate analyses indicated that alcohol and/or drug use were significantly associated with high-risk sexual practices [odds ratio (OR) =4.7, 95% confidence intervals (CI) =1.3-18.4, P =.02). Improved educational HIV/AIDS programs are needed, particularly for women in the general population, who use alcohol/drugs during sexual encounters, which account, at least in part, for their high-risk behaviors. Women in law enforcement, who appear knowledgeable and exhibit safer behaviors, could be useful educators for GPW. Because of their professional role in the community, training for LEW in HIV/AIDS education/prevention programs should be considered. © The Author 2005. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the New York Academy of Medicine. All rights reserved.

publication date

  • September 1, 2005

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)


  • 82


  • SUPPL. 4