Factors influencing the user-choice of integrared and stand-alone voluntary counselling and testing sites in Nairobi province, Kenya
Kyulu, Teresia Mwikali
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The HIV/AIDS has been and remains the most important public health problem affecting the world with over 40 million people infected, 70% of whom were living in the SubSaharan Africa as at the end of the year 2003. In Kenya, it is estimated that 1.2 million people out of a population of 31 million are living with HIV/AIDS (KDHS, 2003). The pandemic has caused over 1.5 million deaths in Kenya since the early 1980s leaving behind many orphans. Voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) has become an integral part of programmes in many countries in the control and management of HIV/AIDS. It is not only a key component of both HIV prevention and care programmes, but is the gateway to prevention and care. It leads to development of effective and accessible medical and supportive interventions for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). It has also been incorporated as part the primary health care package in many countries. The general objective of this study was to determine the factors influencing the choice of integrated and stand-alone VCT sites in Nairobi Province, Kenya. The data was collected using semi-structured questionnaires. A sample of 406 (203 in integrated, 203 in standalone site) was collected from clients seeking VCT services in two integrated and two stand-alone sites in Nairobi Province. All data from the study was coded and entered in a computer cleaned and analyzed using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS). Chi-square was used to test for the relationship between the variables determining the selection of VCT site. From the findings of this study, it was realized that one of the major factors influencing the choice of VCT site was sex, with more women (68%) using the integrated model may because they accessed it while undergoing Maternal and Child health services. Education level also influenced the choice with more educated (47%) people using the stand-alone. The sexual history of the respondents also influenced the choice with results indicating that 80% of those who had many sexual partners in the past seeking VCT at stand-alone sites due to the perception of vulnerability. The findings of this study have policy implications in the distribution and accreditation of VCT sites to promote increased utilization of VCT use as a strategy for the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS since it is beneficial to both those with a positive as well as those with negative results. This may also be used in advocating for behaviour change among the people at the greatest risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.
- MST-Zoological Sciences