Author(s): Irungu TK, Varkey P, Cha S, Patterson JM, Irungu TK, Varkey P, Cha S, Patterson JM, Irungu TK, Varkey P, Cha S, Patterson JM, Irungu TK, Varkey P, Cha S, Patterson JM
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Abstract OBJECTIVES: HIV voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) is important for prevention, detection and treatment of HIV infection. A study was conducted to determine the extent of utilization of VCT, and to study the attitudes and preferences of the community regarding VCT. METHODS: A total of 301 adults, aged 18-49 years, residing in Nakuru, Kenya were randomly selected using a two-stage sampling process. A self-administered questionnaire delivered during home visits was used to collect data over a 4-week period. RESULTS: The majority of study participants (184 of 287; 64.1\%) had never been tested for HIV; 77 (26.8\%) had received VCT, and 26 (9.1\%) had received HIV testing without counselling. A total of 219 (78.2\%) of the 280 responding participants expressed readiness to have VCT. The majority of participants (216 of 296; 73\%) preferred VCT, while 46 (15.5\%) preferred testing without counselling. The majority (227; 76.7\%) preferred couple testing and dedicated clinics and private doctors' offices as testing facilities. The choice of a nearby facility was ranked above the provision of anonymity by most participants (162 of 298; 54.4\%; vice versa for 136 of 298; 45.6\%). CONCLUSIONS: With HIV/AIDS continuing to be a major public health concern in Kenya, the issues surrounding acceptance and use of VCT need to be addressed. Enhancing community awareness of the benefits of early HIV diagnosis, providing couple-based VCT as an integral part of VCT and increasing access to VCT testing sites may enhance utilization of VCT.
This article was published in HIV Med
and referenced in Journal of Infectious Diseases & Therapy