Identifying groups of people with similar sociobehavioural characteristics in Malawi to inform HIV interventions: a Latent Class Analysis

MedRxiv : the Preprint Server for Health Sciences
Aziza MerzoukiO. Keiser


Background: Within many sub-Saharan African countries including Malawi, HIV prevalence varies widely between regions. This variability may be related to the distribution of population groups with specific sociobehavioural characteristics that influence the transmission of HIV and the uptake of prevention. In this study, we intended to identify groups of people in Malawi with similar risk profiles. Methods: We used data from the Demographic and Health Survey in Malawi from 2016, and stratified the analysis by sex. We considered demographic, socio-behavioural and HIV-related variables. Using Latent Class Analysis (LCA), we identified clusters of people sharing common sociobehavioural characteristics. The optimal number of clusters was selected based on the Bayesian information criterion. We compared the proportions of individuals belonging to the different clusters across the three regions and 28 districts of Malawi. Results: We found nine clusters of women and six clusters of men. Most women in the clusters with highest risk of being HIV infected were living in female-headed households and were formerly married or in a union. Among men, older men had the highest risk of being HIV infected, followed by young (20-25) single men. G...Continue Reading

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