Estimating HIV Prevalence in Zimbabwe Using Population-based Survey Data

January 2016 - Epidemiology

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Chinomona, A., Mwambi, H.G. PLOS ONE (December 2015), 10(12):e0140896, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0140896.

This study described how HIV prevalence varies with demographic, socioeconomic, sociocultural, and behavioral risk factors. Using data from the 2010–11 Zimbabwe Demographic and Health Surveys, the authors constructed graphical presentations of HIV prevalence for categories like marital status, five-year age-group, and recent sexual activity, and assessed these groups across Zimbabwe's administrative provinces. They found significant differences in the HIV prevalence rates among those who were single, married, divorced, and widowed. The highest HIV prevalence by marital status was among the widowed, and the lowest was among the single/never married individuals. Within five-year age categories, the highest prevalence was among the 35–39-year group, and the lowest was among the 15–19-year group. HIV prevalence was significantly higher among urban compared to rural residents. In terms of recent sexual activity, those who had never had sex had a significantly lower HIV prevalence than those in other categories; those who had not been sexually active during the previous month had the highest prevalence rate. Religion and wealth index were not significantly associated with HIV. The authors concluded that their study, which provided estimates of HIV prevalence at the national level and on major risk factors, could be used as a baseline for future estimates of HIV prevalence using population-based data.

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