392. Psychosocial Conditions and Sexual Risk Behaviors Among People Presenting for Voluntary Counseling and Testing in South India
Session: Poster Abstract Session: HIV Prevention: PrEP and other Targeted Approaches
Thursday, October 8, 2015
Room: Poster Hall
  • Psychosocial-IDWeek_FINAL.pdf (291.1 kB)
  • Background: Psychosocial conditions such as depression, intimate partner violence, and history of childhood sexual abuse have been associated with HIV-related sexual risk behaviors among men who have sex with men in high-income countries. It is unclear whether psychosocial conditions are associated with risky transmission behaviors among heterosexuals and in low- and middle-income countries such as India, which has the third-largest HIV epidemic in the world.

    Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study of adults presenting to the Y.R. Gaitonde Centre for AIDS Research and Education (YRG CARE) in Chennai, India for Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) from February 2014 to January 2015. We added thirteen questions to the standard YRG CARE VCT questionnaire including the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 (a depression scale) and questions assessing for childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and intimate partner violence (IPV). These questions were administered in the patient's preferred language (Tamil, Telugu, or English) by one of two female HIV counselors.

    Results: 383 persons, including 233 men and 150 women, were included in the study; 362 (95%) self-reported as “heterosexual.” 253 (66%) tested positive for HIV. Prevalence of probable depression was 24% among men and 12% among women (c2=9.00, p=0.003). Men were more likely to report CSA (7% vs. 1%; c2=9.64, p=0.002). IPV was reported by both men (8%) and women (3%) (c2=3.12, p=0.08). Self-reported substance abuse was rare (1%). Compared to persons with no co-morbid psychosocial conditions, persons with at least one psychosocial condition (probable depression, IPV, or CSA) were more likely to report HIV-related sexual risk behaviors (31% vs. 22%; c2=3.98, p=0.046).

    Conclusion: In this largely self-reported heterosexual cohort of people presenting for VCT in southern India, psychosocial conditions including depression, CSA, and IPV were prevalent and associated with HIV-related sexual risk behaviors. Further study is needed to identify appropriate targets for prevention interventions for high-risk groups as well as to understand the impact of these conditions on outcomes among people living with HIV such as antiretroviral adherence and retention in care.

    Amrose Pradeep, M.B.B.S., Clinical Services, YRG Center for AIDS Research and Education, Chennai, India


    A. Pradeep, None

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