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African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
ISSN: 1680-6905
EISSN: 1680-6905
Vol. 16, No. 3, 2016, pp. 646-654
Bioline Code: hs16082
Full paper language: English
Document type: Study
Document available free of charge

African Health Sciences, Vol. 16, No. 3, 2016, pp. 646-654

 en The quality of rapid HIV testing in South Africa: an assessment of testers’ compliance.
Mwisongo, Aziza; Peltzer, Karl; Mohlabane, Neo & Tutshana, Bomkazi


Background: The aim of this study was to assess the quality of rapid HIV testing in South Africa.
Method: A two-stage sampling procedure was used to select HCT sites in eight provinces of South Africa. The study employed both semi-structured interviews with HIV testers and observation of testing sessions as a means of data collection. In total, 63 HCT sites (one HIV tester per site) were included in the survey assessing qualification, training, testing practices and attitudes towards rapid tests. Quantitative data was analysed using descriptive statistics and qualitative data was content analysed.
Results: Of the 63 HIV testers, 20.6% had a nursing qualification, 14.3% were professional counsellors, 58.7% were lay HIV counsellors and testers and 6.4% were from other professions. Most HIV testers (87.3%) had had a formal training in testing, which ranged between 10-14 days, while 6 (9.5%) had none. Findings revealed sub-standard practices in relation to testing. These were mainly related to non-adherence to testing algorithms, poor external quality control practices, poor handling and communication of discordant results.
Conclusion: Quality of HIV rapid testing may be highly compromised through poor adherence to guidelines as observed in our study.

HIV rapid testing; quality; health workers; quality assurance

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