The impact of social support on people living with HIV in the Dominican Republic: a panel study
The Caribbean holds the title of the most heavily affected region in the HIV epidemic after sub- Saharan Africa with an estimated 230,000 people living with HIV. To shed new light on the HIV epidemic in the Dominican Republic, this study targets people living with HIV to provide data essential to the successful control of this epidemic. Our research goals are to (1) Identify trends of condom use in people living with HIV to determine which patients are at the most risks of infecting others and when (2) Gather insight on HIV patients' medication adherence patterns (3) Determine the impact of social support on HIV patients' risk behavior over time, guided by Theory of Planned Behavior. The study surveys 374 HIV positive patients undergoing antiretroviral therapy (ART) from 2007 - 2012 at two HIV clinics in the D.R, Profamilia Clínica and Instituto Dermatológico y Cirugía de Piel. The statistical analyses that were utilized in this study were cross tabulations and a logistic random effect model. The cross tabulations concluded that condom use was relatively low at the beginning of the study and gradually increased across all subpopulations. Additionally, adherence to ART was observed to be high towards the beginning of the study and gradually decreased. The logistic random effect model, found that married men and married MSM are less likely to always use condoms. Lastly friends had a statistically significant positive influence on commercial sex workers and MSM adherence and condom use.