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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - International Journal of Applied Research
Title Dynamics of HIV voluntary counseling and testing uptake among the rural and urban communities of Nakuru District, Kenya
Volume 1
Issue 12
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2015
Page numbers 18-38
URL http://www.allresearchjournal.com/archives/2015/vol1issue12/PartA/1-10-152.pdf
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.
This 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.
The 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.

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