Social behavioral studies comprise the part of the monitoring system and the effectiveness assessment of the measures, providing control of the HIV/AIDS epidemics. They are aimed at tracing the tendencies in changes of HIV-infection spreading and acquiring information about the potential behavioral factors, defining the HIV spreading in society. Such information could be used for informational-educational activities, planning, monitoring and effectiveness assessment of the prevention programs among the target groups.
Ukraine currently has experience in conducting behavioral studies among groups of population with high level of HIV-infection. Thus, since 1996 a research, aimed at looking into behavioral peculiarities and awareness of HIV/AIDS, prevention programs for injection drug users (IDUs), female sex workers (FSWs), imprisoned, men who have sex with men (MSM) and others, has been done. The monitoring research among separate risk groups was simultaneously followed by HIV and other markers blood tests with the help of quick test (bio-behaivioral research).
Since 2007 the analysis of the adolescent group of ID users, WCS and MSM has become possible. The first social behavioral study of the teenagers, who live and work in the streets, was conducted in 2008.
On the whole, the empirical basis of the studies of the most-at-risk adolescents (MARA) includes:
- Secondary data analysis of the adolescent group on the basis of the bio-behavioral studies results. The studies were ordered by the ICF International HIV/AIDS Alliance in Ukraine in the framework of the program “Overcoming HIV/AIDS epidemics in Ukraine” and conducted with the technical support of the Global Fund to fight HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The study included:
- IDUs – 2007 (Ukrainian Institute of Social Studies of A. Yaremenko – UISS), 2008 (SOCIS), 2009, 2011, 2013 (UISS of A. Yeremenko).
- FSWs – 2007 (UISS of A. Yaremenko), 2008, 2009, 2011 (KIIS), 2013 (UISS of A. Yaremenko).
- MSM – 2007 (UISS of A. Yaremenko), 2009, 2011, 2013 (CSEP).
- MARA (including street children) – 2014 (UISS of A. Yeremenko).
- Secondary data analysis of the adolescent group on the basis of the bio-behavioral studies of the imprisoned. The research was ordered by Development Program of the UN “UNDP”; acting on behalf of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime “UNODC”:
- Adolescents in penal correctional institutions – 2011 (UISS of A. Yeremenko).
- Social behavioral studies conducted under the technical support in the framework of the project of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) “HIV Prevention among Most-at-Risk Adolescents”:
- Street children 2008, 2011 2007 (UISS of A. Yaremenko).