Risk Behaviors for Domestic Foodborne Diseases among People Living with HIV in Beijing
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Background: People living with HIV (PLWH) are especially susceptible to foodborne disease (FBD). To avoid FBD, PLWH must be especially careful to follow hygienic practices when preparing, handling, and consuming foods. Yet not much is known about food safety practices globally among those infected with the virus, including in China where scientific knowledge of food safety is relatively new. Aims: To describe risky domestic food behaviors and to investigate possible key factors associated with those behaviors. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted with 200 PLWH recruited from a Beijing hospital. Risky domestic food behaviors were assessed using responses to 22 food-related behavior questions on a Likert scale from 1 (Never) to 5 (Always). Scientific knowledge about risk behaviors was measured using 14 items that included 4 true/false items, 8 multiple-choice items and 2 fill-in-the-blank items. Beliefs/Preferences about the risky behaviors were assessed using responses to 13/14 questions on a Likert scale from 1 (Not at all) to 5 (A great deal). Self-perceived risk for acquiring FBD was measured using a Likert scale from 1 (Not at all likely) to 5 (Extremely likely). Self-perceived seriousness of acquiring FBD was measured using a Likert scale from 1 (Not at all serious) to 5 (Extremely serious). Logistic regression examined the associations between risk behaviors and possible key factors associated with those behaviors. Results: The mean score of risky domestic food behaviors is 52.23 (maximum possible score of 110). The final regression model explains 45.3% of the variance. Evidence was found to support: greater personal belief that risky domestic food behaviors can result in acquiring FBD will be associated with fewer risky behaviors, greater personal preference for engaging in risky domestic food behaviors will be associated with more risky behaviors. Conclusion: These findings from the study provide valuable knowledge for future health education on domestic food safety among PLWH in Beijing, China, by pointing to what information needs to be included in curricula designed to prevent disease transmission. For an educational intervention for PLWH to be effective, the results of this study suggest the need for strategies that encourage and/or reinforce PLWH’s positive cognitive attitudes toward and preferences for safer food behaviors.
People living with HIV