Depressive symptoms and HIV risk behaviours among adolescents enrolled in the HPTN071 (PopART) trial in Zambia and South Africa
Shanaube K., Gachie T., Hoddinott G., Schaap A., Floyd S., Mainga T., Bond V., Hayes R., Fidler S., Ayles H., Hargreaves J., Watson-Jones D., Godfrey-Faussett P., Sabapathy K., Hauck K., Smith PC., Cori A., Pickles M., Mandla N., Yang B., James A., Vermaak R., Makola N., Naidoo V., Simwinga M., Mwinga A., Kosloff B., Limbada M., Bwalya J., Ngulube C., Fraser C., Eshleman S., Agyei Y., Cummings V., Catalano D., Piwowar-Manning E., Donnell D., Emel L., Bunts L., Noble H., Burns D., Kouda A., Sista N., Moore A., White R., Headen T., Miller E., Hinson K., Vermund S., Barnes M., Horn L., Mwango A., Baldwin M., Wolf S., Hughes E., el-Sadr W.
Background Mental health is a critical and neglected public health problem for adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa. In this paper we aim to determine the prevalence of depressive symptoms and the association with HIV risk behaviours in adolescents aged 15-19 years in Zambia and SA. Methods We conducted a cross-sectional survey from August-November 2017 in seven control communities of HPTN 071 (PopART) trial (a community-randomised trial of universal HIV testing and treatment), enrolling approximately 1400 eligible adolescents. HIV-status was self-reported. Depressive symptoms were measured with the Short Mood and Feelings Questionnaire (SMFQ), with a positive screen if adolescents scored ≥12. We fitted a logistic regression model to identify correlates of depressive symptoms with subgroup analyses among those who self-reported ever having had sex, by gender and country. Results Out of 6997 households approached, 6057 (86.6%) were enumerated. 2546 adolescents were enumerated of whom 2120 (83.3%) consented to participate and were administered the SMFQ. The prevalence of depressive symptoms was 584/2120 (27.6%) [95%CI: 25.7%-29.5%]. Adolescents in SA were less likely to experience depressive symptoms (Adjusted Odds Ratio [AOR] = 0.63 (95% CI: 0.50, 0.79), p-value<0.0001). Female adolescents (AOR = 1.46 (95% CI: 1.19, 1.81), p-value<0.0001); those who reported ever having sex and being forced into sex (AOR = 1.80 (95% CI: 1.45, 2.23), p-value<0.001) and AOR = 1.67 (95% CI: 0.99, 2.84); p-value = 0.057 respectively) were more likely to experience depressive symptoms. Among 850 (40.1%) adolescents who self-reported to ever having had sex; those who used alcohol/drugs during their last sexual encounter were more likely to experience depressive symptoms (AOR = 2.18 (95% CI: 1.37, 3.47); p-value = 0.001), whereas those who reported using a condom were less likely to experience depressive symptoms (AOR = 0.74 (95% CI: 0.55, 1.00); p-value = 0.053). Conclusion The prevalence of depressive symptoms among adolescents ranged from 25-30% and was associated with increased HIV-risk behaviour.