In Vietnam, socially marginalized groups such as ethnic minorities in mountainous areas are often difficult to engage in HIV research and prevention programs. This intervention study aimed to estimate the effect of participatory community communication (PCC) on changing HIV preventive ideation and behavior among ethnic minority youth in a rural district from central Vietnam.
In a cross-sectional survey after the PCC intervention, using a structured questionnaire, 800 ethnic minority youth were approached for face-to-face interviews. Propensity score matching (PSM) technique was then utilized to match these participants into two groups-intervention and control-for estimating the effect of the PCC.
HIV preventive knowledge and ideation tended to increase as the level of recall changed accordingly. The campaign had a significant indirect effect on condom use through its effect on ideation or perceptions. When intervention and control group statistically equivalently reached in terms of individual and social characteristics by PSM, proportions of displaying HIV preventive knowledge, ideation and condom use were significantly higher in intervention group than in matched control counterparts, accounting for net differences of 7.4%, 12.7% and 5%, respectively, and can be translated into the number of 210; 361 and 142 ethnic minority youth in the population.
The study informs public health implications both theoretically and practically to guide effective HIV control programs for marginalized communities in resources-constrained settings like rural Vietnam and similar contexts of developing countries.
Keywords: Ethnic minority youth, HIV/AIDS, Participatory community communication (PCC), Propensity score matching (PSM), Vietnam