HIV infection among internally displaced women and women residing in river populations along the Congo River, Democratic Republic of Congo

AIDS Behav. 2009 Oct;13(5):914-20. doi: 10.1007/s10461-009-9536-z. Epub 2009 Mar 20.


We conducted a reproductive health assessment among women aged 15-49 years residing in an internally displaced persons (IDP) camp and surrounding river populations in the Democratic Republic of Congo. After providing informed consent, participants were administered a behavioral questionnaire on demographics, sexual risk, reproductive health behavior, and a history of gender based violence. Participants provided a blood specimen for HIV and syphilis testing and were referred to HIV counseling and testing services established for this study to learn their HIV status. HIV prevalence was significantly higher among women in the IDP population compared to women in the river population. Sexually transmitted infection symptoms in the past 12 months and a history of sexual violence during the conflict were associated with HIV infection the river and IDP population, respectively. Targeted prevention, care, and treatment services are urgently needed for the IDP population and surrounding host communities during displacement and resettlement.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo / epidemiology
  • Female
  • HIV Infections / epidemiology*
  • HIV Infections / prevention & control
  • HIV Infections / transmission
  • HIV-1
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Refugees / psychology
  • Refugees / statistics & numerical data*
  • Risk Factors
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / prevention & control
  • Sexually Transmitted Diseases / transmission
  • Violence*
  • Young Adult