Utilisation of voluntary counselling and testing services among bar waitresses in Kinondoni District, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania|
Tengia-Kessy, Anna & Lyamuya, Dominica E.
Background: Tanzania is among sub-Saharan countries severely affected by the HIV and AIDS epidemic, with an increased burden among high-risk populations, such as bar waitresses. Voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) is among effective approaches to slow down the spread of HIV infection and minimize its impact. However, little information is available on the extent of utilisation of VCT services among bar waitresses. The study examined utilisation of VCT services and its influencing factors among bar waitresses in Kinondoni district, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Methods: We used an interview schedule to gather information on VCT utilisation from 378 bar waitresses, identified using a multi-stage sampling technique. Data were analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Science (Version 15.0). A p-value less than 0.05 was used as a cut-off value for availability of a statistical association between VCT utilisation and related independent factors. Logistic regression models were employed to assess independent correlates of VCT use.
Results: The mean (standard deviation) age of the respondents was 26.1 (5.0) years. About 60% had never been married and about 70% had at least one child at the time of the survey. Majority of the bar waitresses (89.7%) affirmed to have ever utilized VCT services at some point in their lifetime. Despite the high level of knowledge on VCT (71.4%), the services were irregularly utilized with less than half (45.5%) of the respondents utilizing them within six months prior to the survey. Independent predictors for service utilisation included having a child, having higher knowledge on VCT, using a condom in the most recent sexual act as well as lack of fear of positive HIV results or stigmatization.
Conclusions: Utilisation of VCT services is high among bar waitresses in Kinondoni district. However, the services are not utilised regularly as recommended for high-risk populations. for comprehensive strategies to enhance effective service utilisation and
bar waitress, determinants, HIV testing, counselling, Tanzania