Background: Human immunodeficiency virus is primarily transmitted through sexual contact with an infected partner and babies born to mothers infected with the virus. Partners of people living with HIV and children whose parents have HIV are at higher risk of contracting HIV unless they take preventive measures. This study aimed at identifying prevalence and determinants of HIV infection among family members of index cases on antiretroviral treatment (ART).
Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted among 623 randomly selected family members of HIV index cases in Sodo Town from February to June 2021. A pre-tested structural questionnaire was used to collect data. Binary logistic regression was used to identify variables independently associated with the outcome variable. The adjusted odds ratio (AOR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) was used to show the strength of association, and a P-value 0.05 was used as a cut-off point to determine the level of statistical significance of point estimate.
Results: This study revealed that 31.5% (95%CI: 27.6-35.2%) of family members of index cases were HIV seropositive. In subgroup analysis, this study also revealed that 11.1% (95%CI 8.4-14.5%) of biological children and 69.6% (95%CI 63.1-75.6%) of spousal partners of index cases were HIV seropositive. Immediate ART initiation of index cases (AOR = 0.148, 95%CI: 0.067-0.325), being bedridden or ambulatory functional status at enrollment (AOR = 7.71, 95%CI: 3.5-17), and baseline CD4 level of 350 cells/ml (AOR = 8.06, 95%CI: 1.8-36) were statistically significant with the outcome variable among biological children. Among spousal partners, STI history or symptoms (AOR = 5.7, 95%CI: 1.86-17.5), early disclosure (AOR = 0.062, 95%CI: 0.024-0.159), immediate ART initiation (AOR = 0.172, 95%CI: 0.044-0.675), and duration of infection (AOR = 5.09, 95%CI: 1.8-14.4) were statistically associated with the outcome variable.
Conclusion: As evidenced by our data, the risk of HIV among family members of index cases is high. Interventions like immediate ART initiation, early disclosure, screening, and early treatment of STIs for minimizing HIV transmission might be given.