Rodolphe Mérieux Laboratory of Haiti

Community-based hiv and health testing for high-risk adolescents and youth

Reif LK, Rivera V, Louis B, Bertrand R, Peck M, Anglade B, Seo G, Abrams EJ, Pape JW, Fitzgerald DW, McNairy ML

AIDS Patient Care STDS. 2016 Aug;30(8):371-8


Adolescents account for 40% of new HIV infections, and HIV testing strategies to increase uptake of testing are needed. A community-based adolescent and youth HIV and health testing campaign was conducted in seven slum neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, from December 2014 to September 2015. Community health workers provided community sensitization and recruited 10- to 24-year-olds to test for HIV, syphilis, gonorrhea/chlamydia, and to screen for tuberculosis (TB) and pregnancy. HIV-infected individuals were escorted to the GHESKIO HIV clinic for same-day enrollment in care. Among 3425 individuals eligible for testing, 3348 (98%) accepted an HIV test. HIV prevalence was 2.65% (n = 89). Median age was 19 [interquartile range (IQR) 17-20]; 73% were female. HIV prevalence was 0.6-7.4% across slum neighborhoods. All HIV-infected individuals enrolled in care the same day as testing; median CD4 was 529 cells/μL [IQR 363-761]. Syphilis prevalence was 2.60% (65/2536) and gonorrhea/chlamydia prevalence was 6.25% (96/1536). Among 168 (5%) individuals who reported TB symptoms, 7.7% (13/168) had microbiologically confirmed disease. One hundred twenty-nine females (5% of all females) were pregnant. This community-based testing campaign identified an adolescent and youth population with an HIV prevalence six times higher than the estimated national adolescent HIV prevalence (0.4%) in Haiti, including perinatally infected adolescents. This type of community-based campaign for HIV testing within a package of services can serve as a model for other resource-poor settings to identify high-risk adolescents and youth, and curb the global HIV epidemic among adolescents.

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