Walker, E.; Mayes, B.; Ramsay, Donnette Hope; Hewitt, Hermi H.; Bain, Brendan C.; Christie, Celia D.
Author Affiliation, Ana.
UWI School of Nursing
Socio-demographic and clinical characteristics of Jamaican adolescents with HIV/AIDS
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
Background: Clinical symptomatology and socio-demographic factors have not been characterized in Jamaican adolescents with HIV/AIDS. Methods: We studied these factors in 25 HIV-positive Jamaican adolescents, 10-19 years of age, who were seen at the Centre for HIV/AIDS Research, Education, and Services (CHARES) between the years 1996 and 2002. Data were collected between June 2003 and August 2003 from CHARES social work files and The University Hospital of the West Indies (UHWI) medical records. Microsoft Excel was used to compile descriptive statistics for the data. Results: The mean age of HIV diagnosis was 15.6 (+/-3.09) years, and the mean age of enrollment at CHARES was 16.3 (+/- 2.9) years. Consensual sexual intercourse was the most prominent mode of transmission (56%), followed by vertical transmission (16%), unknown (16%), forced sexual intercourse (8%), and blood transfusion (4%). The predominant clinical presentations among these adolescent patients were generalized dermatitis (77.2%) and lymphadenopathy (50%). Of the patients for whom clinical status could be determined, 70% were 'Severely Symptomatic '. Of these patients only 14% were recommended for antiretroviral treatment. Conclusions: These findings reinforce the need to globally incorporate the goal of the 2002 Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) to provide reproductive health services, including low-cost or free condoms, voluntary counselling and testing, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases and infections for adolescents in order to effectively prevent HIV infection .....