Methods: We conducted a single center cross-sectional cohort pilot study on 60 men and women who were consecutively seen at the Centre for HIV/AIDS Research and Education Services (C.H.A.R.E.S) between March 2017 and April 2017. All participants were registered patients of CHARES and had documented HIV-1 infection. Data was gathered from patients’ responses, so there exists the potential for bias and under-reporting. Characteristics of our study population were valued by using descriptive statistics. Chi square test was applied to compare categorical variables. A significance level of P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: Of the 60 participants, 57 were currently in a relationship. Mean age was 40.5 years(SD= 8.7). Male and female participants were evenly distributed(46.7% and 53.3% respectively). 65% of participants indicated being in a serodiscordant relationship. Gender did not significantly impact whether participants were in a serodiscordant relationship. Of the participants that indicated being in a serodiscordant relationship, there was an overall disclosure rate of 67%. Rates of serodiscordant relationships were similar between the reproductive years and non-reproductive years age groups(P= 0.227). However, significantly more persons of reproductive age disclosed their HIV status to their partner than those who were not of reproductive age [77.5% versus 22.5%. (P= 0.008)]
Though the majority of participants indicated being in a serodiscordant relationship (65%), 93% had no knowledge of PrEP.
Conclusion: In this preliminary study at an urban specialty clinic in Jamaica, the majority of study participants were in a serodiscordant relationship. Of concern, > 90% were unaware of PrEP and its benefits. Further research and education is needed among patients and providers if efforts to prevent new HIV infections in the region are to be successful.
D. Ahuja, None