Author(s): Animut Ayenew, Abenet Leykun, Robert Colebunders, Amare Deribew
BACKGROUND: The acceptance of HIV testing among patients with tuberculosis (TB) is low in Ethiopia. The purpose of this study was to assess predictors of acceptance of HIV testing among patients with TB in North Ethiopia.
METHODS: A case control study was conducted in eight randomly selected health facilities in North Ethiopia from February 5 to March 11, 2009. A total of 282 participants (188 controls and 94 cases) were included in the study. Cases were TB patients who refused to be tested for HIV. We used quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection. For the quantitative survey, cases and controls were interviewed by trained nurses using a pre-tested and structured questionnaire. In-depth interviews were conducted with 5 nurse counselors and 15 TB patients. Bivariate and multivariate analysis was done using SPSS 16.0 statistical software.
RESULTS: The uptake of HIV testing among TB patients in the study health facilities was 70.6%. The rate of TB/HIV co-infection in those who were tested was 36.2%. From the source population, a total of 282 participants were included in the study. TB patients who had formal education [OR = 2.35, (95%CI: 1.33, 4.13)], high awareness about the benefits of HIV counseling and testing [OR = 3.14, 95%CI: 1.77, 5.50)], and a low stigmatized attitude [OR = 3.16, 95%CI: 1.79, 5.59)] were more likely to accept HIV testing. The qualitative study also revealed that low awareness and stigma were the major reasons for non-acceptance of HIV testing.
CONCLUSION: "Knowledge and attitude" factors were the major barriers for HIV testing. Tailored training should be given to TB patients and the community concerning the benefits of HIV testing. During counseling sessions, health workers should focus on barriers of uptake of HIV testing such as stigma and discrimination.Journal of Infectious Diseases & Therapy