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Declining HIV Prevalence in Parallel with Safer Sex Behaviors in Burkina Faso: Evidence From Surveillance and Population-Based Surveys
Authors: Fati Kirakoya-Samadoulougou, Nicolas Nagot, Sekou Samadoulougou, Mamadou Sokey, Abdoulaye Guiré, Issiaka Sombié, and Nicolas Meda
Source: Global Health: Science and Practice, 4(2): 326-335; doi: 10.9745/GHSP-D-16-00013
Topic(s): HIV/AIDS
Sexual behavior
Country: Africa
  Burkina Faso
Published: JUN 2016
Abstract: Objective: To investigate trends in HIV prevalence and changes in reported sexual behaviors between 1998 and 2014 in Burkina Faso. Methods: We obtained data on HIV prevalence from antenatal care (ANC) surveillance sites (N?=?9) that were consistently included in surveillance between 1998 and 2014. We also analyzed data on HIV prevalence and reported sex behaviors from 3 population-based surveys from the Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS), conducted in 1998–99, 2003, and 2010. Sex behavior indicators comprised never-married youth who have never had sex; sex with more than 1 partner; sex with a nonmarital, non-cohabiting partner; condom use at last sex with a nonmarital, non-cohabiting partner; and sex before age 15. We calculated survey-specific HIV prevalence with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) and used the chi-square test or chi-square test for trend to compare HIV prevalence across survey years and to analyze trends in reported sex behaviors. Results: HIV prevalence among pregnant women ages 15–49 decreased by 72% in urban areas, from 7.1% in 1998 to 2.0% in 2014, and by 75% in rural areas, from 2.0% in 2003 to 0.5% in 2014. HIV declined most in younger age groups, which is a good reflection of recent incidence, with declines of 55% among 15–19-year-olds, 72% among 20–24-year-olds, 40% among 25–29-year-olds, and 7% among those =30 years old (considering urban and rural data combined). Data reported in the DHS corroborated these declines in HIV prevalence: between 2003 and 2010, HIV prevalence dropped significantly—by 89% among girls ages 15–19, from 0.9% (95% CI, 0.2 to 1.6) to 0.1% (95% CI, 0.0 to 0.4), and by 78% among young women ages 20–24, from 1.8% (95% CI, 1.6 to 3.0) to 0.4% (95% CI, 0.0 to 0.7). During the same time period, people reported safer sex behaviors. For example, significantly higher percentages of never-married youth reported they had never had sex, lower percentages of sexually active youth reported multiple sex partners, and lower percentages of youth reported having sex before age 15. In addition, the percentage of men ages 20–49 reporting sex with a nonmarital, non-cohabiting partner declined significantly, while condom use at last sex with such a partner increased significantly among both men and women ages 15–49. Conclusions: Both ANC surveillance and population-based surveys report sharp declines in HIV prevalence in Burkina Faso between 1998 and 2014, accompanied by improvements in reported risky sex behaviors.