JOURNAL ARTICLE

Utilization of voluntary counseling and testing services in the Eastern Cape, South Africa

P L Hutchinson, X Mahlalela
AIDS Care 2006, 18 (5): 446-55
16777636
This analysis uses data from a population-based household survey and a government clinic survey in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa to examine attitudes towards voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) services, patterns of utilization of VCT services and the relationships between HIV/AIDS-related stigma, VCT service availability and quality and the use of VCT. The household survey data are linked with clinic-level data to assess the impact of expanded VCT services and access to rapid testing on the likelihood of being tested in rural areas and on HIV/AIDS stigma. Our analysis finds that while overall use of VCT services is low, utilization of VCT services is positively associated with age, education, socioeconomic status, proximity to clinics, availability of rapid testing and outreach services and lower levels of HIV/AIDS stigma. Importantly, the effects of stigma appear considerably stronger for females, while men are more heavily influenced by the characteristics of the VCT services themselves.

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