JOURNAL ARTICLE

Knowledge of tuberculosis (TB) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and perception about provider initiated HIV testing and counselling among TB patients attending health facilities in Harar town, Eastern Ethiopia

Ayichew Seyoum, Mengistu Legesse
BMC Public Health 2013, 13: 124
23394172

BACKGROUND: Tuberculosis (TB) and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) co-infection is one of the major health problems in Ethiopia. The national TB and HIV control guideline in Ethiopia recommends provider initiated HIV testing and counselling (PITC) as a routine care for TB patients. However, the impact of this approach on the treatment seeking of TB patients has not been well studied. In this study, we assessed knowledge of TB and HIV, and perception about PITC among TB patients attending health facilities in Harar town, Eastern Ethiopia.

METHODS: In a health facilities based cross-sectional study, a total of 415 study participants were interviewed about knowledge of TB and HIV as well as the impact of HIV testing on their treatment seeking behavior using a semi-structured questionnaires.

RESULTS: Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed the association of distance > 10 km from health facility [adjusted odds ratio (AOR)=0.48, 95% CI: 0.24 - 0.97, P=0.042] with low knowledge of TB. Distance > 10 km from health facility (AOR= 0.12, 95% CI: 0.06 -0.23, P < 0.001) was also associated with low knowledge of HIV testing. Delay in treatment seeking was associated with female participants (AOR = 0.11, 95% CI: 0.05-0.25, <0.001), single marital status (AOR =0.001, 95% CI: 0.00 - 0.01, P< 0.001) and distance > 10 km from health facility (AOR =0.46, 95% CI: 0.28 - 0.75, P=0.002). Most of the study participants (70%) believed that there is no association between TB and HIV/AIDS. On the other hand, two thirds (66.5%) of the participants thought that HIV testing has importance for TB patients. However, the majority (81.6%) of the study participants in the age category less than 21 years believed that fear of PITC could cause delay in treatment seeking.

CONCLUSION: The study showed the association of low knowledge of the study participants about TB and HIV testing with distance > 10 km from health facility. Study participants in the age category less than 21 years thought that fear of PITC could cause treatment delay of TB patients. Hence, emphasis should be given to improve knowledge of TB and HIV among residents far away from health facility, and attention also needs to be given to improve the perception of individuals in the age group less than 21 years about PITC in the present study area.

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