HIV Sero-behavioural Study in the Fishing Communities along Lake Victoria in Uganda
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The survey fieldwork was conducted in forty six fishing communities of the Lake Victoria Basin of Uganda in August 2010. The main aim was to establish HIV prevalence among fishing communities, the associated drivers of risk and vulnerability; and the effectiveness of HIV and AIDS response. The survey methods consisted of individual interviews, focus group discussions and key informants interviews. A desk-review was conducted to document HIV service availability and utilization, as well as institutional policies and structures for the coordination and delivery of HIV services. Laboratory testing for HIV was conducted both in the field and at central level. A total of 911 women and men aged 15-59 years were randomly selected and interviewed by four fieldwork teams. Of the 911 respondents, 559 (61 percent) are men and 352 (39 percent) are women. Each fieldwork survey team consisted of 4 interviewers, 1 counselor, 1 laboratory technician and 1 supervisor. Before the main survey, a pretest was carried out. All respondents provided written consent before the interviews and blood draw. The survey protocol was approved by the Science and Ethics Committee of the Uganda Virus Research Institute; and cleared by the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology. Data was captured using EPIINFO following a double data entry strategy. Main findings HIV prevalence and risk factors for HIV infection: Twenty two percent of the surveyed fishing community members are infected with HIV; HIV prevalence among women is higher (25.1 percent) than among men (20.5 percent).HIV prevalence is highest among widows/widowers (40 percent) followed by that among divorced people (32 percent). Furthermore, HIV prevalence is highest among respondents who had their first sex before the age of 15 years; where it is 36 percent in women, 21 percent in men and 30 percent in both women and men. HIV prevalence is higher among those respondents who engaged in higher risk sex compared to those who did not do so. Additionally HIV prevalence is higher among respondents who reported three or more lifetime sexual partners, compared to those who reported one or two lifetime sexual partners. Overall, HIV prevalence is higher among uncircumcised men and respondents with STI than in circumcised men and respondents without STI, respectively. HIV prevalence is 11 percent in circumcised men and 27 percent in uncircumcised men. Furthermore, among men with STI, HIV prevalence is 10 percent in circumcised men and 34 percent in uncircumcised men. Among men without STI, HIV prevalence is 12 percent in circumcised men and 25 percent in uncircumcised men. Source of HIV information: Radio is the commonest source of HIV/AIDS information and education. Of all information acquired on HIV prevention methods, limiting sex to one partner is perceived as the most important information acquired from the radios.