HIV prevalence in three predominantly Muslim residential areas in the Cape Town metropole

Kagee, A. ; Toefy, Y. ; Simbayi, L. ; Kalichman, S. (2005)

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Objective. To report on the results of a random and representative household survey of HIV prevalence in 3 predominantly Muslim areas in the Cape Town metropole. Method. A cross-sectional representative community household survey was conducted in 3 residential areas. Aerial photographs were used in the selection of a random sample of 548 households, with the objective of obtaining an oral fluid sample and behavioural data from 2 inhabitants per household. Phase 1 of the study involved preparing the communities and notifying the household residents of the study. In phase 2, trained nurses collected oral fluid specimens for HIV testing and administered a confidential and anonymous behavioural questionnaire to household inhabitants aged 15 years and older. Results. A total of 717 people completed a behavioural interview and 512 were tested for HIV, yielding response rates of 65% and 47% respectively. The specimens of 503 respondents were correctly matched with behavioural data; 352 of these respondents indicated that they were Muslim. Of these oral fluid specimens 9 were reactive and 341 were non-reactive. We therefore calculated HIV prevalence among Muslims living in the three areas at 2.56% (95% confidence interval (CI): 1.18 - 4.80%). None of the individuals who tested HIV-positive had been previously tested for HIV. There were no HIV infections in the remainder of the sample. Conclusion. The results indicate that HIV prevalence among Muslims living in the 3 targeted residential areas of the Cape Town metropole, while not trivial, is significantly lower than the national prevalence for South Africa. These results imply the need for ongoing prevention and education programmes specifically targeting Muslim youth and adults and support and assistance for Muslims infected with and affected by HIV.

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