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High levels of sexual HIV/STD risk behaviour among Roma (Gypsy) men in Bulgaria: patterns and predictors of risk in a representative community sample. Int J STD AIDS 2002 Mar;13(3):184-91



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-0036183112   38 Citations


Studies on HIV and STD risk factors among vulnerable minority groups in Eastern Europe are underrepresented in the literature. The rapid increase in HIV and STD rates observed throughout the region may quickly affect impoverished, stigmatized, and underprivileged communities. Roma (or Gypsies) constitute such a vulnerable group. A total of 324 men aged 14-37 years were recruited during June-July 2001 in a Roma community neighbourhood in Sofia, Bulgaria. HIV/STD risk behaviours were widespread. Men reported a mean of 2.4 female partners in the past 3 months and 77% did not use a condom during their most recent vaginal intercourse. 72% of Roma men said they had engaged in anal intercourse with women in the past 3 months and almost 75% of these heterosexual anal intercourse occurrences were unprotected. 27% reported having sex with other men during their lifetimes, 10% had same-sex anal intercourse partners in the past 3 months, and 58% of the most recent anal intercourse acts by these men were not condom-protected. 16% of men reported selling sex, and 32% paid someone for sex. Positive condom-use attitudes, intentions, norms and self-efficacy, as well as younger age and condom availability, were factors associated with lower sexual risk. These factors should be targeted in rapid, comprehensive, and culturally sensitive prevention interventions for Roma communities.

Author List

Kabakchieva E, Amirkhanian YA, Kelly JA, McAuliffe TL, Vassileva S


Yuri A. Amirkhanian PhD Professor in the Psychiatry department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Jeffrey A. Kelly PhD Professor in the Psychiatry department at Medical College of Wisconsin
Timothy L. McAuliffe PhD Professor in the Psychiatry department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

HIV Infections
Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
Sexual Behavior
Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Surveys and Questionnaires