HIV Counselling and Testing Services: what Determines the Participation of Young People in a Community, South West Nigeria?
HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) has been
shown to have preventive effects on HIV/AIDS. Despite its importance,
participation remains low in some places where the service is obtainable. This
study was carried out to determine the utilization of HTC services among young
persons in Yemetu, Ibadan and South West Nigeria.
The study was a cross sectional survey of
221 residents aged 15 to 24 years. Semi-structured interviewer administered
questionnaires were used to obtain information on socio-demographic
characteristics and utilization of HCT services. Descriptive statistics were
done. Associations were explored with the chi square test and predictors of
knowing ones status was determined using logistic regression analysis at 5%
level of significance.
The mean age of the respondents was 17.8+3.9
years, about half, 54.3% were female, 45.7% were male (m: f = 1: 1.2), 83.3%
were single, only 6.8% had tertiary education. Only 24% know their HIV status,
33.6% of respondents > 18 years know their status compared to 15.8% of those
who were ≥ 18 years (p=0.002). Among the respondents who were aware of a place
to carry out HIV test, only 49.4% know their HIV status compared to 10.6% who
do not (p<0.001). Those that were aware of a place to get tested were about
8 times likely to know their status [OR=8.18 (3.66-18.30)] P<0.001.
CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
The common belief that services will be
utilized when they are available was not evident in this study. Sustainable HIV
responses targeting young people should not be limited by assumed availability
of services. Periodic awareness programmes should be undertaken in the
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