Health Education Delivered Through a Microfinance Platform Associated With Safer Sexual Behavior in Haitian Women

Molly S. Rosenberg , Indiana University, Bloomington
Reginal Jules, Fonkoze Foundation
Maya Luetke, Indiana University, Bloomington
Sina Kianersi, Indiana University
Erik Nelson, Indiana University
Florence Jean-Louis, Fonkoze Foundation

Sexual health education interventions have generally produced disappointing results, but may be more successful when integrated into programs designed to alleviate poverty and empower women. We interviewed 304 Haitian microfinance clients, some of whom received health education training delivered within their regular microfinance meetings. We estimated the association between health training and key sexual health outcomes, and tested for interaction by age and literacy status. Women with health training were more likely to report condom use, more likely to have recently tested for HIV, and less likely to report recent STI symptoms. Some of the associations between health training and sexual health outcomes were stronger among older women and among illiterate women. These findings add to the growing body of evidence demonstrating the potential for microfinance programs to be used as effective platforms for health education delivery, and provides the first evidence for the association in a Haitian context.

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 Presented in Session 135. Sexually Transmitted Infections, HIV, Fertility, and Reproductive Health