International Journal of Applied Research
Vol. 1, Issue 12, Part A (2015)
Dynamics of HIV voluntary counseling and testing uptake among the rural and urban communities of Nakuru District, Kenya
Muchiri Joseph, Kevin Dew, Cholo Wilberforce, Mwangi Wahome
While there has been an increasing attention towards HIV/Aids epidemic with more emphasis being on raising access to care and treatment, these efforts are bound to become unsustainable due to a high rate of new infections. In 2007, for every HIV patient who was put on drugs six others became infected with the virus. Voluntary testing and Counseling has been suggested as the most effective intervention that could reverse this rate of infection. Its utilization in Africa and many parts of the world has however, been at an all time low. In Kenya where populations of over 1.4 million people are living with HIV/AID virus, less than 20% of the total population knows their status. The aim of this study is therefore to establish and document the dynamics of VCT uptake in Nakuru district of Kenya with a view to suggesting measures to increase this uptake. The main objectives of the study were to identify factors that influence VCT uptake and determine the levels of knowledge and prevailing attitudes on HIV testing. The role that gender play in VCT utilization was explored.rnThis was a cross sectional study in which a mixed research method methodology employing quantitative and qualitative data collection methods was used. Quantitative data was collected using a structures questionnaire while Qualitative data was collected using focus group discussions and key informant interview. The target population was residents of Nakuru aged 16-60. rnThe research found that the awareness regarding HIV and VCT among the community members is relatively high. However, there are still a significant proportion of people who hold misconceptions about the disease and more also the testing service. This may partially explain why people opted not to take the test. Further, Majority of the people wants to take up the test but both social and health system barriers such as gender inequality, the cost of taking the service, service operational hours, accessibility; misconceptions about the disease among others barriers make them not to utilize the service. The study recommend the adopting a more pro-active model of testing which could include mobile and home based testing to help remove most of these barriers and therefore lead to an increased uptake. Moreover promotional activities targeting couples, providing the service beyond the current normal working hours (8am- 5pm) weekdays and weekends.
How to cite this article:
Muchiri Joseph, Kevin Dew, Cholo Wilberforce, Mwangi Wahome. Dynamics of HIV voluntary counseling and testing uptake among the rural and urban communities of Nakuru District, Kenya. International Journal of Applied Research. 2015; 1(12): 18-38.