Background In Nicaragua, 9,739 HIV cases have been reported during 1987–2014. Two Central American Behavioural Surveillance Survey (BSS) among people living with HIV (PLHIV) to estimate prevalence of STI and risk behaviour have been conducted. Since 2012, the STI Sentinel Surveillance Strategy (VICITS) has offered STI diagnosis/treatment and behavioural intervention for PLHIV in public health sites. We present socio-demographic/behavioural and STI prevalence among PLHIV from BSS (2009 and 2014) and VICITS databases.
Methods For the BSS, we used a convenience sample of PLHIV seeking HIV services at Roberto Calderon Hospital (RCH) in Managua, from September–December 2009 and January–March 2014. For VICITS, PLHIV seeking services at RCH during 2014 were included. BSS information was obtained through Audio Computer-Assisted Self-Interview. VICITS data were abstracted from VICITS information system. Blood samples were collected for Syphilis testing according to national guidelines. Data were analysed using STATA v13.0.
Results Each BSS survey recruited 200 PLHIV (male 53.5% BSS-2009; 74.0% BSS-2014). VICITS recruited 146 PLHIV (85.7% male). Median age was 34 years old for all three data sources. One-third reported being married/living together in BSS-2009 and VICITS (44%, BSS-2014). Alcohol use in the last month was reported by 33.2% in BSS-2009 and 50% in BSS-2014 and VICITS. Condom use in the last sex with any partner was 60.0% in BSS-2009 and 75.5% in BSS-2014 and VICITS. Prevalence of syphilis was 11.6% (95% CI: 7.5–16.8) in BSS-2009, 10.0% (95% CI: 6.2–15.0) in BSS-2014 and 16.7% (95% CI: 8.1–19.8) in VICITS.
Conclusion Although socio-demographic/behavioural data of PLHIV in BSS and VICITS were similar, syphilis prevalence was higher among PLHIV enrolled in VICITS. Our results indicate that VICITS strategy can provide valuable information about sexual behaviour of PLHIV. Our findings suggest the use of programmatic data in lieu of complex and expensive surveys to monitor trends in STI prevalence and sexual behaviour.
Disclosure of interest We declare that we have no conflicts of interest.
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