Empowering women's self-care: a participatory approach to prevent HIV/AIDS for women and children in Northeast Thailand.
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Across Thailand there has been a general reduction in the incidence rate of HIV infection in all but one special population group: married women and their offspring whilst the incidence rate is relatively low (1.2%) it has remained steady for a number of years. This participatory approach aims to understand the married women's points of view and to facilitate their self-care to prevent HIV/AIIDS for themselves and their next child. The research utilised a three phase design: exploratory, explanatory and intervention phases. The findings from the first two phases have substantively informed the construction of the intervention phase. The overall findings of the research indicated that women have general knowledge about HIV/AlIDS and carried out general self-care practices. Specific self-care practices however were lacking. Through the participatory intervention phase the research has been able to illuminate a number of important factors pertaining to women's self-care most-noticeably: the importance of support; the strategies women adopt to balance health and social risk; the importance of consciousness raising; and the need for culturally sensitive health care programmes. The research concludes by presenting an analytical model of women's self-care for the prevention of HIV/AIDS and makes a series of recommendations with regard to the development of existing Thai health care services, the enhancement of the current educational curricula, and the incorporation of participatory approaches in health promotion and health care provision for families.