Utilization of voluntary counselling and testing services among university students: a case study of Nairobi, Kenya

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Wachira, Mary Njoki
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The livestock tropical bont tick, Amblyomma variegatum Fabricius, is a pest of major economic importance in Africa where it is the vector of Cowdria ruminantium that causes Headwater, disease in cattle. Its control has relied mainly on commercial acaricides, which have many problems associated with, environmental pollution, development of resistant strains of ticks against acaricides and escalating costs. It has, therefore, become necessary to look for alternative methods of tick control, which are environmentally friendly, relatively cheap and which invo Since HIV/AIDS was detected in 1981, it has become a pandemic that is spreading rapidly irrespective of race, country, age group and socio-economic class. Globally, more than 7000 young people including university students acquire HIV/AIDS daily. This translates to 2.6 million new infections each year among the young people of which two million cases occur in Africa. In Kenya, the devastating disease is the single most important health challenge that the country has faced in post independence. To date, there is no cure for HIV/AIDS and therefore our hopes lies in preventing new infections and helping to prolong the lives of those already infected. Infected individuals will constitute a serious economic and social tragedy in the lives of surviving families, friends, employers as well as the country at large. In Kenya, studies on HIV/AIDS among the high risk groups such as commercial sex workers have been carried out. There is also paucity of research on HIV/AIDS addressing the youth out of school as well as those in secondary schools. However, little has been done to establish the rate of infection among university students as well as the rate of utilization of VCT services. This study sought to determine the utilization of VCT services among university students. A cross-sectional descriptive survey was carried out among undergraduate students from both private and public universities in Nairobi and its periphery. The universities were conveniently selected due to their location. Probability proportion-to-size sampling was used to determine the number of undergraduate students to be sampled from each university. A sample of 400 undergraduate students was randomly selected from the four universities. The data was collected by the use of self-administered structured questionnaire. Data was analyzed using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) software. The findings of the study indicate that the student's knowledge of HIV/AIDS was high (93%). However the high knowledge level did not translate into high utilization of VCT. There was a significant relationship between the knowledge level of VCT and the university of study (=16.2564, df=3, p=0.001). However the relationship between the year of study and the knowledge level was not significant (=2.3226, df=3, p=0.5080). Despite the fact that Ninety four percent (94%) of the students were aware of vital facts concerning HIV/AIDS and VCT, only forty five percent (45%) of the students indicated that they knew their sero status. There was no significant difference between the university of study and utilization of VCT (=3.894, df=3, p=0.2731). The main barriers hindering utilization of VCT were stigmatization (51%) and fear of positive results (37%). The study recommends that both the government and non-governmental/civic society actors to invest more resources in mounting consistent campaigns encouraging and motivating students to visit VCT inorder for them to know their serostatus and hence influence behaviour change. There is also need for enhanced public education through electronic and print media inorder to empower students and youth at large with important information regarding VCTs in order to increase utilization. Further, the study recommends that there is need to establish accessible and youth friendly VCT centers within various universities as an entry point to care and prevention of HIV transmission.lve farmers directly. In this regard, the purpose of this study investigated the potential of pheromones in attracting ticks to a trap off-host and toxicating them with Neem products and the repulsion of ticks on-host using repellent plant. The use of pheromone components comprising Attraction-Aggregation-Attachment Pheromone (AAAP), 1-octen3-ol and 2,6-dichlorophenol to attract A. variegatum to traps containing botanical extracts on the vegetation was explored. The possibility of enhancing attraction of ticks to AAAP with 1-octen-3-ol and 2,6dichlorophenol was first investigated in a T-tube olfactometer in the laboratory. Whereas males were attracted to increasing proportions of 1-octen3-ol, females were repelled. A combination of 8 ng of 1-octen-3-ol with 1.1 mg of AAAP was adopted as an optimum for the attraction of both sexes, enhancing the attraction of ticks by 20% (p<0.0001). Unlike 1-octen-3-ol, 2,6dichlorophenol did not improve the attraction of A. variegatum in the laboratory (p=0.0667). In the field, the attraction of A. variegatum to different doses of AAAP+1-octen-3-ol combination from various distances was investigated. The longest distance from which ticks were significantly attracted was 7 m. The effects of continuous and intermittent release of carbon dioxide (CO2) on the performance of AAAP and 1-octen-3-ol in attracting ticks in the field were also investigated. The results showed that CO2 increased the range of attraction to 8 m and the continuous and the intermittent release of CO2 were not significantly different. The efficacy of traps treated with Neem Cake Extracts (NCE) and baited with AAAP, 1-octen-3-ol and CO2 was evaluated. The attraction to the traps as well as the modality of A. variegatum were significant (p<0.0001). The modality of attracted ticks was dependent on the concentration of NCE and the time of exposure. 98% modality was recorded for a concentration of 30% of NCE. The volatiles of two of the predilection feeding sites of A. variegatum (scrotum and lower dewlap) were tested against the odour of the ear. The scrotum and the lower dewlap were found very attractive to the ticks. The possibility of using plant extracts with repellent properties in reducing the number of ticks arriving and attaching at predilection sites was also investigated. Boscia senegalensis, Ocimum suave and Ocimum kilimandscharicum were tested as repellents. Ocimum kilimandscharicum was found to repel adult A. variegatum by 33%. This technology of using botanical traps baited with pheromones and CO2 as well as repellent plants could be improved and can be transferred to farmers where it can be incorporated in an Integrated Tick Management Strategy.
Department of Zoological Sciences, 68p.The RA 644.A25W3 2005
AIDS (Disease)--prevention