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The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition
ISSN: 1606-0997
EISSN: 1606-0997
Vol. 33, No. 2, 2015, pp. 1-7
Bioline Code: hn15032
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

The Journal of Health, Population and Nutrition, Vol. 33, No. 2, 2015, pp. 1-7

 en Factors influencing uptake of voluntary counselling and testing services for HIV/AIDS in the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality (LMKM) in the Eastern Region of Ghana: a cross-sectional household survey
Apanga, Paschal A.; Akparibo, Robert & Awoonor-Williams, John K.


Background: Voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) is one of the nine strategies recommended for prevention and control of HIV globally. In this study, we assessed the awareness and utilisation of VCT services among residents of the Lower Manya Krobo Municipality (LMKM) in the Eastern Region of Ghana.
Methods: A population-based descriptive cross-sectional survey was conducted with 200 participants, aged between 18 and 55 years. Participants were recruited using cluster and simple random techniques to take part in the survey. Data was analysed descriptively, as well as using regression analysis approach.
Results: Ninety-one percent of the respondents surveyed were aware of VCT services for HIV/AIDS. Seventy percent (70 %) have used VCT service in the last 12 months prior to the survey. Of this proportion, 97 % were satisfied with the quality of VCT services offered and indicated their willingness to recommend the service to others. Participants desire to know their HIV status (40 %), referral by health workers (25 %), and participants who wanted to get married (11 %) were the main reasons for increased uptake. Participants who had formal education, primary (OR = 1.8 (95 % CI 1.25–2.84)), junior high school (OR = 2.3 (95 % CI 1.54–3.37)), senior high school (OR = 2.8 (95 % CI 1.73–4.78)), and tertiary (OR = 3.4 (95 % CI 1.98–8.42)), had increased chance of using VCT service compared with participants who had no education (p < 0.001). Reasons for non-utilisation of VCT service were lack of awareness of the VCT service in the area (32 %), fear of being stigmatised (53 %), and the belief that HIV/AIDS cannot be cured and therefore the lack of need (5 %).
Conclusions: Although awareness and utilisation of VCT service rates were reportedly high, more efforts need to be done in order to increase awareness and promote utilisation. HIV/AIDS educational campaign programmes need to be strongly pursued, with emphasis on the benefits of VCT services. This has the potential of reducing stigma and increase utilisation.

HIV; AIDS; VCT; Uptake; Awareness; Ghana

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