Author(s): Kawichai S, Celentano DD, Chaifongsri R, Nelson KE, Srithanaviboonchai K,
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Abstract Voluntary HIV counseling and testing (VCT) is a central component of comprehensive HIV prevention strategies targeting individual risk reduction. VCT data are essential for planning and improving HIV/AIDS intervention strategies. The objective of this study is to describe demographic profiles, reasons for seeking HIV counseling and testing, rate of declining HIV testing after pretest counseling, rate of failure to return for HIV test results, and HIV prevalence and associations among 3570 clients who sought VCT at Sansai Hospital in northern Thailand from 1995 to 1999. Data were abstracted retrospectively from client-level data recorded by the hospital counselors on a standard form. HIV prevalence was 29\% and remained high throughout the study period. Reasons for seeking VCT for men and women were markedly different and highly correlated with rates of declining the test, failure to return for test results, and HIV prevalence. Declining VCT and failing to return were high among uneducated clients (p <.001). Failure to return among men was associated with HIV prevalence (OR = 1.72, p =.003), particularly for those who had risk behaviors (OR = 5.92, p <.001) and those who wanted to know their HIV serostatus (OR = 4.44, p =.002). Overall, VCT acceptance and returning for test results were high. VCT services at the community level can reach high-risk individuals, especially male partners of women tested as part of routine prenatal care.
This article was published in J Acquir Immune Defic Syndr
and referenced in Journal of AIDS & Clinical Research