233465 Correlates of HIV testing among youth in three high prevalence Caribbean countries

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Beverly Andrews, MSc, BSc , Department of Social Statistics, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton, Highfield, United Kingdom
Background: Caribbean youth constitute one of the groups most vulnerable to HIV infection. HIV testing is the gateway to effective prevention, treatment and control of the epidemic . Moreover in the Caribbean which has the second highest HIV prevalence after sub-Saharan Africa, studies examining HIV testing among youth could not be located. The objective of this study is to describe the levels of and to identify the factors influencing HIV testing among Caribbean youth in three countries with high HIV prevalence.

Methods: Using nationally representative surveys, subsamples of sexually experienced young adults aged 15 to 24 years were selected as follows: 875 in Guyana; 12,418 in Dominican Republic and 4,199 in Haiti. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to assess the effects of socio-demographic, risk behaviours, exposure to media and psychosocial factors on ever being tested which accounted for the multistage sample design of the survey.

Results: The proportion of youth ever tested was 48% in Dominican Republic, 37% in Guyana and 17% in Haiti. In each country, being ever married, having five or more lifetime partners, older sexual debut and knowing someone who had or died from HIV increased the odds of ever being testing. Male gender and rural residence decreased the odds of testing.

Conclusions: Low levels of HIV testing were observed amomg Caribbean youth. HIV prevention interventions targeting gender inequalities and structural barriers facing youth and which address risk behaviours should be formulated if HIV testing uptake is to be increased

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Protection of the public in relation to communicable diseases including prevention or control
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Describe the prevalence of HIV testing among Caribbean youth aged 15-24 years in three Caribbean countries. Identify the social; behavioural and psychosocial factors which influence uptake of HIV testing in Caribbean youth Discuss the need to increase HIV testing among Caribbean youth by addressing gender inequalities and other social and structural barriers youth encounter in accessing HIV testing services

Keywords: HIV Interventions, Youth

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a Ph.D student at the University of Southampton and this research that I am presenting forms part of my thesis.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.