Summary: Two hundred fifty individuals from high risk categories were enrolled in a seroprevalence survey for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infections in Winnipeg. The overall seroprevalence in the Manitoba AIDS Virus Epidemiology Study (MAVES) was 5.2%. Of 2651 diagnostic and screening specimens in the province of Manitoba submitted over a similar period, 103 were positive (3.9%). HIV seropositivity in Manitoba was noted mainly in homosexual/bisexual males (especially those who were also intravenous drug abusers), hemophiliacs, and individuals from endemic regions of the world. Individuals whose only risk factor was intravenous drug abuse, those with sexually transmitted diseases, or those with high risk sex contacts have not demonstrated HIV seropositivity in Manitoba to date. Manitoba is currently a low seroprevalence region for HIV infection. Our study demonstrated that the awareness level of people at risk for HIV infections was low. In our study population, one-on-one counseling was demonstrated to be an effective way to improve short-term knowledge about HIV infections. Appropriate education approaches must be considered for Native/ Metis peoples (26.4% of our MAVES study population), who were younger and had a lower educational and employment level compared to Caucasian/other racial groups.
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