Notification of positive HIV test results in Haiti: Can we better intervene at this critical crossroads in the life of HIV-infected patients in a resource-poor country?
The current study was conducted in Port au Prince, Haiti, to determine if information collected at HIV notification during voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) can predict patients' future adherence with risk reduction counseling and medical referral. Case histories describe HIV-infected patients with signs of depression during counseling who do not return for medical care, and women afraid of economic ruin and domestic violence who do not notify their sexual partners. Quantitative predictors of seeking medical care include: denial at the announcement of HIV test results (odds ratio [OR] 0.3, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.1-0.6), belief that HIV can be transmitted by magic (OR 0.6, 95% CI 0.3-0.9), and having symptoms at the time of HIV testing (OR 1.9, 95% CI 1.6-2.3). Predictors of refusal to notify sexual partner of HIV status include: being poor (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.1-2.5), female (OR 2.1, 95% CI 1.7-2.5), and belief that HIV can be transmitted by magic (OR 2.3, 95% CI 1.9-2.6) In conclusion, information collected during HIV counseling and testing can predict patients' future adherence with counseling and medical referral. Counselors can use information such as signs of severe depression, economic hardship, and denial of HIV disease to identify patients at risk for nonadherence and to provide them with specialized counseling and care.