Sexual Abuse and Sexually-Transmitted HIV/AIDS in Jamaican Children and Adolescents Aged 6-19 Years
Introduction: Risk factors and outcomes of sexually-acquired human immunodeficiency virus infection were characterized in Jamaican children and adolescents.
Methodology: Management was carried out by multidisciplinary teams in Infectious Diseases clinics during August 2003 through February 2019 using modified World Health Organization HIV criteria.
Results: There were 78 clients, aged 6 to 19 years, with females:males = 4:1 (p < 0.05). Sexual-initiation occurred in 60%, 47 before < 16 years (median 13 years, with four < 10 years; females:males = 7:1). Sexual-initiation preceded HIV diagnosis in all cases (median 2 years). Secondary education 93% (69/77) and living with non-parental relatives 17% (13/78) were associated with early sexual-initiation (p < 0.042); as was later imprisonment in 6% (3/52). Other sexually transmitted infections 36% (19/53) were associated with sexual-initiation ≥ 16 years (p < 0.01). Risks for ongoing HIV-transmission included infrequent condom use 74% (39/53), body-piercings 50% (24/48), illicit drug use 37% (28/76), tattoos 36% (19/52), transactional sex 14% (7/53) and pregnancy 56% of girls. 77% (59/77) had Centres for Diseases Control’s Category A HIV infection; 82% (61/75) initiated anti-retroviral therapy; 75% (56/75) had first-line drugs, with helper T lymphocyte counts ≥ 500 cells/μL in 61% (48/78) and HIV viral load of < 1,000 copies/μL in 63% (40/64). Complications included dermatological 39% (20/52), respiratory 25% (13/52) and neurological 15% (8/52). Early sexual initiation was associated with depression 43% (33/76; p < 0.004) and suicidal attempt or ideation 23% (18/77; p < 0.096). Four (5%) died.
Conclusions: Sexually transmitted HIV/AIDS in children and adolescents should preempt prompt medical, legal and psychosocial interventions.
Copyright (c) 2021 Kadine Orrigio, Russell Bernard Pierre, Diahann Gordon-Harrison, Kaye Lewis-O'connor, Georgiana Gordon-Strachan, Celia Dana Claire Christie
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