Determinants of HIV-VCT utilization among secondary schools teachers in Thika district, Kenya

E O Marita, M N Keraka, I Mwanzo
East African Journal of Public Health 2011, 8 (4): 258-62

BACKGROUND: HIV/AIDS is a global health problem whose emergence has introduced new dimensions to health care delivery worldwide including Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT). Despite its proven benefits, high knowledge of VCT and its availability, its uptake is varied and often poor. It is commonly argued that teachers in Sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries have relatively high HIV prevalence rates than the general population. AIDS is claiming teachers more quickly than they can be trained in many countries and is the leading cause of death among teachers in the SSA countries.

OBJECTIVE: To identify determinants of HIV-VCT uptake amongst secondary schools teachers.

METHOD: A cross-sectional survey involving 246 secondary school teachers randomly selected in Thika district, central Kenya.

RESULTS: HIV-VCT utilization among secondary school teachers was 30.5%. The younger and less experienced teachers were more likely to utilize HIV-VCT services than the older and more experienced ones (Likelihood ratio, P = 0.004). Private school teachers were more likely to utilize HIV-VCT services than those of the public schools (OR = 2.356, 95% CI limit, 1.082-5.128). Teachers who were scared by the HIV prevalence in their area were three times less likely to utilize HIV-VCT services (OR = 0.312, 95% CI, 0.104-0.936). The teachers who had not sought HIV-VCT service were less likely to perceive HIV-VCT services as beneficial (Likelihood ratio, P=0.027). Various factors were identified as barriers to HIV-VCT uptake; most of them were post test implicated. A number of factors that made some teachers to seek HIV-VCT services were also identified; HIV/AIDS awareness campaigns and urges 'to know status' were most cited factors.

CONCLUSION: Although HIV-VCT utilization among secondary school teachers was higher than that of the general public, at 30.5% was still low. Various factors were found to influence HIV-VCT uptake

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