New data from the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS) indicate that the country’s HIV prevalence has increased from 1.5% to 1.9%. This is according to the Liberia Demographic and Health Survey (LDHS 2013). This represents an increase of 0.4%, up from 1.5% in 2007(LDHS). Information and blood samples for HIV testing were collected from men and women between the ages 15 to 49.
According to the Liberia Institute of Statistics and Geo-Information Services (LISGIS), the primary objective of the 2013 Liberia Demographic and Health Survey (2013 LDHS) is to provide up-to-date estimates of basic demographic and health indicators. Specifically, the 2013 LDHS collected information on:fertility levels, marriage, sexual activity, fertility preferences, awareness and use of family planning methods, breastfeeding practices, nutrition, childhood and maternal mortality, maternal and child health.
Additionally, the 2013 LDHS provides information onawareness and behaviorregarding HIV and AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The 2013 LDHS also made the following revelations:
Nearly all Liberians have heard of AIDS. However, a sizable minority does not know how to prevent HIV. One quarter of men and women do not know that using a condom can prevent HIV. Women’s knowledge of the two key means of preventing HIV has increased since 2007, but there is nearly no change in men’s knowledge of these HIV prevention methods. The majority of women and half of men know that HIV can be transmitted during breastfeeding. Knowledge that the risk of mother to child transmission (MTCT) can be reduced by taking special drugs during pregnancy is lower among both men and women. Overall, 51% of women and just 27% of men know both of these important facts. The results of the 2013 LDHS show that both women and men are now more knowledgeable about prevention of mother to child transmission (MTCT) than in 2007. The majority of adults know where to get an HIV test.
HIV testing has increased since 2007 among both men and women. This is encouraging news.
A summary/slide of the results of the 2013 Liberia Demographic and Health Survey can be found on the National AIDS Commission’s website: www.nacliberia.org.