Trends in HIV and sexual behaviour in a longitudinal study in a rural population in Tanzania, 1994-2000.
ABSTRACT To describe the trends in HIV transmission and sexual behaviour in a rural population in Africa.
An open community cohort study with demographic surveillance and surveys of all consenting adults.
All residing adults aged 15-44 years who participated in surveys in 1994-1995, 1996-1997 and 1999-2000 were tested for HIV infection and provided information on sexual behaviour. The district AIDS control programme was the only intervention.
The prevalence of HIV among adults aged 15-44 years increased gradually from 5.9% in 1994-1995 to 6.6% in 1996-1997 and 8.1% in 1999-2000. The incidence of HIV increased from 0.8 to 1.3 per 100 person-years during 1994-1997 and 1997-2000, respectively. In spite of a modest increase in knowledge during the study period, most individuals continued to feel that they were not at risk of HIV, and sexual risk behaviour remained largely unchanged, except for a small increase in condom use. HIV transmission levels continued to be higher in the trading centre than in the nearby rural villages within this small geographical area, although differences became smaller over time.
The gradual and continuing spread of HIV and the striking lack of change in sexual behaviour in this rural population suggest that the low-cost district intervention package does not appear to be adequate to stem the growth of the epidemic, and more intensive AIDS control efforts are needed.
Article: Concurrent sexual partnerships do not explain the HIV epidemics in Africa: a systematic review of the evidence.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The notion that concurrent sexual partnerships are especially common in sub-Saharan Africa and explain the region's high HIV prevalence is accepted by many as conventional wisdom. In this paper, we evaluate the quantitative and qualitative evidence offered by the principal proponents of the concurrency hypothesis and analyze the mathematical model they use to establish the plausibility of the hypothesis.We find that research seeking to establish a statistical correlation between concurrency and HIV prevalence either finds no correlation or has important limitations. Furthermore, in order to simulate rapid spread of HIV, mathematical models require unrealistic assumptions about frequency of sexual contact, gender symmetry, levels of concurrency, and per-act transmission rates. Moreover, quantitative evidence cited by proponents of the concurrency hypothesis is unconvincing since they exclude Demographic and Health Surveys and other data showing that concurrency in Africa is low, make broad statements about non-African concurrency based on very few surveys, report data incorrectly, report data from studies that have no information about concurrency as though they supported the hypothesis, report incomparable data and cite unpublished or unavailable studies. Qualitative evidence offered by proponents of the hypothesis is irrelevant since, among other reasons, there is no comparison of Africa with other regions.Promoters of the concurrency hypothesis have failed to establish that concurrency is unusually prevalent in Africa or that the kinds of concurrent partnerships found in Africa produce more rapid spread of HIV than other forms of sexual behaviour. Policy makers should turn attention to drivers of African HIV epidemics that are policy sensitive and for which there is substantial epidemiological evidence.Journal of the International AIDS Society 01/2010; 13:34. · 3.26 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To estimate HIV incidence and prevalence in Windhoek, Namibia and to analyze socio-economic factors related to HIV infection. In 2006/7, baseline surveys were performed with 1,753 private households living in the greater Windhoek area; follow-up visits took place in 2008 and 2009. Face-to-face socio-economic questionnaires were administrated by trained interviewers; biomedical markers were collected by nurses; GPS codes of household residences were recorded. The HIV prevalence in the population (aged>12 years) was 11.8% in 2006/7 and 14.6% in 2009. HIV incidence between 2007 and 2009 was 2.4 per 100 person year (95%CI = 1.9-2.9). HIV incidence and prevalence were higher in female populations. HIV incidence appeared non-associated with any socioeconomic factor, indicating universal risk for the population. For women a positive trend was found between low per-capita consumption and HIV acquisition. A HIV knowledge score was strongly associated with HIV incidence for both men and women. High HIV prevalence and incidence was concentrated in the north-western part of the city, an area with lower HIV knowledge, higher HIV risk perception and lower per-capita consumption. The HIV incidence and prevalence figures do not suggest a declining epidemic in Windhoek. Higher vulnerability of women is recorded, most likely related to economic dependency and increasing transactional sex in Namibia. The lack of relation between HIV incidence and socio-economic factors confirms HIV risks for the overall urban community. Appropriate knowledge is strongly associated to lower HIV incidence and prevalence, underscoring the importance of continuous information and education activities for prevention of infection. Geographical areas were identified that would require prioritized HIV campaigning.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(10):e25860. · 4.09 Impact Factor
Article: "Half plate of rice to a male casual sexual partner, full plate belongs to the husband": findings from a qualitative study on sexual behaviour in relation to HIV and AIDS in northern Tanzania.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: A thorough understanding of the contexts of sexual behaviour of the people who are vulnerable to HIV infection is an important component in the battle against AIDS epidemic. We conducted a qualitative study to investigate perceptions, attitudes and practices of sexually active people in three districts of northern Tanzania with the view of collecting data to inform the formulation of appropriate complementary interventions against HIV and AIDS in the study communities. We conducted 96 semi-structured interviews and 48 focus group discussions with sexually active participants (18-60 years of age) who were selected purposively in two fishing and one non-fishing communities. The study revealed a number of socio-economic and cultural factors which act as structural drivers of HIV epidemic. Mobility and migration were mentioned to be associated with the risk of HIV acquisition and transmission. Sexual promiscuous behaviour was common in all study communities. Chomolea, (a quick transactional sex) was reported to exist in fishing communities, whereas extramarital sex in the bush was reported in non-fishing community which was predominantly Christian and polygamous. Traditional practices such as Kusomboka (death cleansing through unprotected sex) was reported to exist. Other risky sexual behaviour and traditional practices together with their socio-economic and cultural contexts are presented in details and discussed. Knowledge of condom was low as some people mistook them for balloons to play with and as decorations for their living rooms. Acute scarcity of condoms in some remote areas such as vizingani (fishing islands) push some people to make their own condoms locally known as kondomu za pepsi using polythene bags. HIV prevention efforts can succeed by addressing sexual behaviour and its socio-economic and cultural contexts. More innovative, interdisciplinary and productive structural approaches to HIV prevention need to be developed in close collaboration with affected communities and be closely related to policy-making and implementation; to go beyond the limited success of traditional behavioural and biomedical interventions to particularly address the underlying social and structural drivers of HIV risk and vulnerability in the study communities.BMC Public Health 12/2011; 11:957. · 2.00 Impact Factor