Feasibility of a Population Based Survey on HIV Prevalence in Barbados, and Population Preference for Sample Identification Method

O. Peter Adams*, 1, Anne O. Carter2
1 Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Bridgetown, Barbados, West Indies
2 Department of Community Health and Epidemiology, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

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© Adams and Carter; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Faculty of Medical Sciences, The University of the West Indies, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Bridgetown, Barbados, West Indies; Tel: 246 417 4118; Fax: 246 438 9170; E-mail:



To predict response rate and validity of a population-based HIV prevalence survey in Barbados using oral fluid, and the method of sample identification preferred by participants.


Persons age 18 to 35 randomly selected from the voters’ register to participate in a study of the prevalence of chlamydia and gonorrhoea (STI) were invited to answer a questionnaire.


Of 496 persons selected for the STI study, 88 did not participate, and a further 10 did not answer the questionnaire, leaving 398 respondents. 329 persons or 66% (60% men, 73% women, p = 0.003) of the original 496 persons said that they would be willing to take part in an HIV survey using oral fluid.

People indicating willingness to take part in an HIV survey did not differ significantly from non-respondents and those indicating unwillingness to participate by a number of demographic and STI risk factors including age, education level, partnership status, number of partners, condom use, drug use, and STI infection status.

For persons willing to participate in a HIV survey, confidential linked sample identification was acceptable to 99.0% (95% CI ± 1.0), and unlinked identification to 1.6% (95% CI ± 1.3).


The HIV prevalence estimated by a linked survey would have a reasonable response rate and be valid, as likelihood of participation is not related to infection risk.

Keywords: HIV, saliva, population surveillance, prevalence, sample identification..