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Targeting the hotspots: investigating spatial and demographic variations in HIV infection in small communities in South Africa.

Wand H, Ramjee G - J Int AIDS Soc (2010)

Bottom Line: In South Africa, the severity of the HIV/AIDS epidemic varies according to geographical location; hence, localized monitoring of the epidemic would enable more effective prevention strategies.This study also identified areas of high HIV incidence, which were broadly consistent with those with high prevalence rates.Localized monitoring of the epidemic is therefore essential for more effective prevention strategies--and particularly urgent in a region such as KwaZulu-Natal, where the epidemic is particularly rampant.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Sydney, Australia. hwand@nchecr.unsw.edu.au

ABSTRACT

Background: In South Africa, the severity of the HIV/AIDS epidemic varies according to geographical location; hence, localized monitoring of the epidemic would enable more effective prevention strategies. Our objectives were to assess the core areas of HIV infection in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, using epidemiological data among sexually active women from localized communities.

Methods: A total of 5753 women from urban, peri-rural and rural communities in KwaZulu-Natal were screened from 2002 to 2005. Each participant was geocoded using a global information system, based on residence at time of screening. The Spatial Scan Statistics programme was used to identify areas with disproportionate excesses in HIV prevalence and incidence.

Results: This study identified three hotspots with excessively high HIV prevalence rates of 56%, 51% and 39%. A total of 458 sexually active women (19% of all cases) were included in these hotspots, and had been exclusively recruited by the Botha's Hill (west of Durban) and Umkomaas (south of Durban) clinic sites. Most of these women were Christian and Zulu-speaking. They were also less likely to be married than women outside these areas (12% vs. 16%, p = 0.001) and more likely to have sex more than three times a week (27% vs. 20%, p < 0.001) and to have had more than three sexual partners (55% vs. 45%, p < 0.001). Diagnosis of genital herpes simplex virus type 2 was also more common in the hotspots. This study also identified areas of high HIV incidence, which were broadly consistent with those with high prevalence rates.

Conclusions: Geographic excesses of HIV infections at rates among the highest in the world were detected in certain rural communities of Durban, South Africa. The results reinforce the inference that risk of HIV infection is associated with definable geographical areas. Localized monitoring of the epidemic is therefore essential for more effective prevention strategies--and particularly urgent in a region such as KwaZulu-Natal, where the epidemic is particularly rampant.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

Study locations.
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Figure 1: Study locations.

Mentions: As described earlier, our study included women who consented to participate in one of three studies from six clinic sites and 158 census locations, from among a total black female population of ~2,400,000. Figure 1 presents the location of the study areas. The geographical data of a total of 2369 women who tested positive for HIV infection at a follow-up screening were used to determine high HIV prevalence areas. Added to this were 211 women who were HIV negative at screening but who seroconverted during follow up.


Targeting the hotspots: investigating spatial and demographic variations in HIV infection in small communities in South Africa.

Wand H, Ramjee G - J Int AIDS Soc (2010)

Study locations.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2984578&req=5

Figure 1: Study locations.
Mentions: As described earlier, our study included women who consented to participate in one of three studies from six clinic sites and 158 census locations, from among a total black female population of ~2,400,000. Figure 1 presents the location of the study areas. The geographical data of a total of 2369 women who tested positive for HIV infection at a follow-up screening were used to determine high HIV prevalence areas. Added to this were 211 women who were HIV negative at screening but who seroconverted during follow up.

Bottom Line: In South Africa, the severity of the HIV/AIDS epidemic varies according to geographical location; hence, localized monitoring of the epidemic would enable more effective prevention strategies.This study also identified areas of high HIV incidence, which were broadly consistent with those with high prevalence rates.Localized monitoring of the epidemic is therefore essential for more effective prevention strategies--and particularly urgent in a region such as KwaZulu-Natal, where the epidemic is particularly rampant.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, Sydney, Australia. hwand@nchecr.unsw.edu.au

ABSTRACT

Background: In South Africa, the severity of the HIV/AIDS epidemic varies according to geographical location; hence, localized monitoring of the epidemic would enable more effective prevention strategies. Our objectives were to assess the core areas of HIV infection in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, using epidemiological data among sexually active women from localized communities.

Methods: A total of 5753 women from urban, peri-rural and rural communities in KwaZulu-Natal were screened from 2002 to 2005. Each participant was geocoded using a global information system, based on residence at time of screening. The Spatial Scan Statistics programme was used to identify areas with disproportionate excesses in HIV prevalence and incidence.

Results: This study identified three hotspots with excessively high HIV prevalence rates of 56%, 51% and 39%. A total of 458 sexually active women (19% of all cases) were included in these hotspots, and had been exclusively recruited by the Botha's Hill (west of Durban) and Umkomaas (south of Durban) clinic sites. Most of these women were Christian and Zulu-speaking. They were also less likely to be married than women outside these areas (12% vs. 16%, p = 0.001) and more likely to have sex more than three times a week (27% vs. 20%, p < 0.001) and to have had more than three sexual partners (55% vs. 45%, p < 0.001). Diagnosis of genital herpes simplex virus type 2 was also more common in the hotspots. This study also identified areas of high HIV incidence, which were broadly consistent with those with high prevalence rates.

Conclusions: Geographic excesses of HIV infections at rates among the highest in the world were detected in certain rural communities of Durban, South Africa. The results reinforce the inference that risk of HIV infection is associated with definable geographical areas. Localized monitoring of the epidemic is therefore essential for more effective prevention strategies--and particularly urgent in a region such as KwaZulu-Natal, where the epidemic is particularly rampant.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus