Perceptions and Uptake of Voluntary Counseling and Testing Services among Primary School Teachers in Nakuru County, Kenya: Addressing Containment of HIV/AIDS Pandemic
Tangus, Carolyne C
Odundo, Paul A
Rambo, Charles M
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Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) is a component of national response to HIV and AIDS prevention. It marks the entry point for early treatment; as well as providing information for behavior change and stigma management. Studies reveal a dearth of information on teachers’ response to VCT services in Kenya. This study was conducted to determine perceptions on uptake of VCT services, with a view to informing policy deliberations. We applied a cross-sectional survey design to source data from 600 teachers. The analysis generated crosstabulations with Chi-square statistic, beta coefficients (β) and odds ratios (OR). The study found that only 157 (26.2%) participants had voluntarily taken HIV test. Teachers perceiving themselves to be ‘very susceptible’ to HIV infection had about 2.3 times the odds of utilizing VCT services as those believing that they were ‘not susceptible’ [ρ-value = 0.047, OR = 2.255, C.I. = 1.411-3.602]. Teachers perceiving that voluntary testing was ‘very useful’ in HIV prevention were about 1.7 times as likely to utilize VCT services as those believing that voluntary testing was ‘not useful’ (ρ-value = 0.013, OR = 1.737, C.I. = 1.323 -2.281). Teachers knowing at least one VCT facility had about 3.3 times the odds of taking VCT services as those not knowing any facility (ρ-value = 0.002, OR = 3.320, C.I. = 1.668-6.607). In conclusion, scaling-up information dissemination is likely to improve knowledge and service uptake. The study calls for more media campaigns through radio; mobile VCT outlets and integration of VCT facilities in schools.