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Factors Associated with HIV Prevalence and HIV Testing in Sierra Leone: Findings from the 2008 Demographic Health Survey

Brima, N; Burns, F; Fakoya, I; Kargbo, B; Conteh, S; Copas, A; (2015) Factors Associated with HIV Prevalence and HIV Testing in Sierra Leone: Findings from the 2008 Demographic Health Survey. PLoS One , 10 (10) , Article e0137055. 10.1371/journal.pone.0137055. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: The Sierra Leone Demographic Health Survey 2008 found an HIV prevalence of 1.5%. This study investigates associations with HIV infection and HIV testing. Methods: Households were selected using stratified multi-stage sampling. In all selected households women aged 15–49 were eligible. In every second household men aged 15–59 were also eligible. Participants were asked to consent for anonymous HIV testing. All participants interviewed and tested were analysed. Multiple logistic regression identified associations with HIV infection, undiagnosed infection and with ever having a voluntary HIV test among sexually active participants. Results: Of 7495 invited 86% (6,475) agreed to an interview and HIV test. Among 96 HIV positive participants, 78% had never taken a voluntary HIV test so were unaware of their serostatus, and 86% were sexually active in the last 12 months among whom 96% did not use a condom at last intercourse. 11% of all participants had previously voluntarily tested. Among women who had tested, 60% did so in antenatal care. We found that those living in an urban area, and those previously married, were more likely to be HIV infected. Voluntary HIV testing was more common in those aged 25–44, living in an urban area, females, having secondary or higher education, having first sexual intercourse at age 17 years or older, and using condoms at last sex. Although 82% of men and 69% of women had heard of HIV, only 35% and 29% respectively had heard of antiretroviral therapy. Conclusions: The HIV prevalence in Sierra Leone has been stable. HIV testing, however, is uncommon and most infected individuals are unaware of their serostatus. This could allow the epidemic to escalate as individuals with undiagnosed infection are unlikely to change their behaviour or access treatment. Improving knowledge and increasing testing need to remain central to HIV prevention interventions in Sierra Leone.

Type: Article
Title: Factors Associated with HIV Prevalence and HIV Testing in Sierra Leone: Findings from the 2008 Demographic Health Survey
Location: United States
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0137055
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0137055
Language: English
Additional information: © 2015 Brima et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1472784
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