HIV prevalence and related behaviours of older people in Botswana - secondary analysis of the Botswana AIDS Impact Survey (BAIS) IV

Matlho, K., Randell, M., Lebelonyane, R., Kefas, J., Driscoll, T. and Negin, J.

The focus of HIV interventions in Botswana, a country with the second highest prevalence of HIV in the world, remains targeted at those aged 15-49 years despite a growing cohort of older people living with the disease - driven largely by the successful roll-out of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Primarily utilising the Botswana AIDS Impact Survey IV, we set out to examine HIV related characteristics and behaviours of this often ignored older cohort (50-64 years) relative to younger (25-49 years) adults. Analysis revealed that more than 80% of older people living with HIV were on ART. HIV prevalence among this older cohort was 24.6% in 2013 compared to 35.1% among the younger cohort, p < 0.0001. Prevalence in older adults was higher among older males (27.8%) than females (21.9%), p = 0.02. Furthermore, 58.9% of older adults acknowledged being sexually active, with 59.0% of these admitting to inconsistent condom use during sexual intercourse. In addition to this low condom usage, older men (6.0%) were significantly more likely to be unaware of their HIV-positive status than older women (3.0%), p = 0.002. While HIV prevalence showed a dramatic increase among older men over time (17.2% in 2004, to 23.4% in 2008, to 27.8% in 2013), the trend was flatter among older women (16.3% in 2004, to 22.4% in 2008, to 21.9% in 2013). These trends are likely attributable to a large increase in ART coverage and uptake. Going forward, more targeted interventions acknowledging the ageing epidemic are important to consider.

April 12, 2019
Year of publication
Resource types
Journal and research articles
HIV prevalence, antiretroviral therapy (ART), older adults

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