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