Association between HIV status and socio-demographic characteristics of clients seeking Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) services in selected sites in Kenyated sites in Kenya

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Gathuya, Samuel Wambugu
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Several studies have shown that some demographic factors such as gender play an important role in the transmission of HIV. Recent studies have also shown some association between male circumcision and HIV/AIDS as well as other social factors such as casual sex and condom use during high risk sex. However, although substantial data on socio-demographic variables are collected during voluntary counselling and testing sessions, it is not known how those factors correlate with client's HIV result, which would be important in informing HIV/AIDS programming. The main objective of this study was, to determine the association between sociodemographic characteristics of VCT clients and their HIV test results in selected sites in Kenya between 2002 and 2006. Analytic study design was applied. A retrospective study of 79,338 VCT client records and 17 Key Informant interviews with VCT site managers was undertaken. Records were considered for review if the client was above 18 years of age and had undergone full VCT and signed a consent form. Convenient sampling technique was used to select VCT sites. The VCT clients' records were entered into Epi Info 2002 computer software program and analysed using Statistical Software for Social Scientists (SPSS) and Microsoft Excel. Chi square test of association between HIV and socio-demographic characteristics was used. Results were considered significant when p value was less than 0.05. The results revealed that a little over half of the clients were males (52.6% vs 47.3%) (2 = 39859, df=l, P=0.000), majority of them in the age group of 25-49 years (57%). The clients' average age was 28 years (SD +/-8.6). Most of the clients were single (42.1 %) or in monogamous relationships (43.8%) and nearly 3 out of 10 were in skilled occupation. Clients' with secondary education accounted for 44.9% of the total. Nearly three-quarters (72.5%) of clients had sexual practices in the past and condom use with nonsteady partners among the sexually active was low (20.1%). Prevalence of HIV infection was significantly higher among women than men; 19.5% and 9.4% (2 = 1685.77, P=0.000), higher among those with low or no education (2 =998.76, df =3, P =0.000) and varied with occupation levels. Clients with skilled occupation were less likely to be infected compared to those in unskilled occupation (2 = 1720, df=4, P=0.000). High prevalence of HIV was observed among those who have ever been in marital relationships, the less educated, the unemployed clients and also among clients who had started sex and who never used condoms. Generally, the findings suggest that HIV affects people of low socioeconomic status and who were exposed to high risk sexual practices. Considering the prevailing high level of HIV infection rate among VCT clients, stakeholders implementing HIV/AIDS programs need to design appropriate HIV prevention programs targeting people in marital or cohabiting relationships, less educated, unemployed and clients who are exposed to high risk sexual behavior that fuel spread of HIV
Department of Public Health, 115p. 2009. The RA 643.75.G3
HIV infections--Kenya//AIDS (Disease)--Kenya