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Care requirements for clients who present after rape and clients who presented after consensual sex as a minor at a clinic in Harare, Zimbabwe, from 2011 to 2014.

Care requirements for clients who present after rape and clients who presented after consensual sex as a minor at a clinic in Harare, Zimbabwe, from 2011 to 2014.
Author Information (click to view)

Harrison RE, Pearson L, Vere M, Chonzi P, Hove BT, Mabaya S, Chigwamba M, Nhamburo J, Gura J, Vandeborne A, Simons S, Lagrou D, De Plecker E, Van den Bergh R,


Harrison RE, Pearson L, Vere M, Chonzi P, Hove BT, Mabaya S, Chigwamba M, Nhamburo J, Gura J, Vandeborne A, Simons S, Lagrou D, De Plecker E, Van den Bergh R, (click to view)

Harrison RE, Pearson L, Vere M, Chonzi P, Hove BT, Mabaya S, Chigwamba M, Nhamburo J, Gura J, Vandeborne A, Simons S, Lagrou D, De Plecker E, Van den Bergh R,

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PloS one 2017 09 2112(9) e0184634 doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0184634

Abstract
STUDY GOALS
To describe the differences between clients presenting after rape and clients who have consented to sex as a minor to an SGBV clinic in Harare, Zimbabwe, and how these differences affect their care requirements.

BACKGROUND
Adolescents and adults presenting at the specialized Sexual and Gender Based Violence clinic in Harare are offered a standardised package of free medical and psychosocial care. Zimbabwe has an HIV prevalence of 14%, so prevention of HIV infection using PEP for those that present within 72 hours is a key part of the response. STI treatment, emergency contraceptive pills, referral for termination of pregnancy, psychological, social and legal support is also provided.

METHODS
This is a retrospective descriptive study of routine programmatic data collected at the Edith Opperman polyclinic in Mbare SGBV clinic from 2011 to 2014. Chi-square tests and logistic regression were used to describe the different experiences and the differences in uptake of care between clients presenting for rape compared to those who consented to sex as a minor.

RESULTS
During the study period a total of 3617 clients presented to the clinic. 2242 (62%) sought care after rape, 602 (17%) for having consented to sex as a minor and 395 (11%) for suspected sexual abuse. 1615 (45%) of people presenting were 12-15 year olds. Minors who consented to sex compared to survivors of rape were less likely to report within 72 hours- 156 (26%) vs 894 (40%) p<0.001; less likely to report that they delayed due to fear- 68 (17%) vs 472 (40%) p<0.001, less likely to have experienced accompanying violence- 9 (1%) vs 176 (8%) p<0.001 or physical trauma-34 (6%) vs 427 (19%) p<0.001; and less likely to display psychological symptoms at presentation 51 (8%) vs 411 (18%) p<0.001. Minors who consented to sex compared to those who were raped were less likely to start PEP if eligible-123 (80%) vs 751 (93%) p<0.001, less likely to take emergency contraceptives if eligible-125 (81%) vs 598 (88%) p<0.001, more likely to be pregnant- 132 (23%) vs 241 (15%) p<0.001; less likely to request a termination of pregnancy if pregnant-10 (8%) vs 74 (31%) p<0.001; and less likely to come for at least one follow up 281 (47%) vs 1304 (58%) p<0.001. CONCLUSION
The experiences of those who consent to sex as a minor and those that have experienced forced sex were very different. The standardised SGBV medical response does not fully meet the needs to protect minors who have consented to sex from HIV or unwanted pregnancies. Clients who present for having consented to sex as a minor might benefit more from being offered long-term family planning or being assessed as a sero-discordant couple rather than simply PEP and ECP as is relevant for clients who have been raped. More provision of health care is needed for minors to ensure they have access to enough information and protection from HIV, other STIs and unwanted pregnancy, before they decide to engage in sexual intercourse, rather than as an emergency at an SGBV clinic.

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