Factors affecting uptake of voluntary counseling and testing for HIV/AIDS in Uganda
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The main objective of the study was to examine the determinants of VCT (voluntary counseling and testing) uptake among the sexually active group (15-54 years) in Uganda. The study examined secondary data from the UDHS (2006) using Univariate, Bivariate and multivariate analysis techniques to identify socio-economic, demographic, and knowledge/ awareness factors associated with VCT uptake. The outcome of this study showed that 77% of the sample constituted females and that most of the respondents’ age distribution was between 15-19 years and 20-24 years (22.9% and 18.7% respectively). The study further revealed that the overall VCT prevalence was 25% (22% for male and 24% for female). It was also established that respondent’s age, sex, level of education, area of residence, income level, marital status, religion, condom use and perceived HIV risk produced significant associations with VCT uptake (p<0.01). Results from the Multivariate analysis revealed that less males were likely to go for VCT compared to females (OR=0.6, p<0.01). The study further showed increasing odds for increasing levels of education (primary level OR=2.4, p<0.05; secondary level OR= 4.3, p<0.01; and tertiary level OR=11.8, p<0.01). These findings suggested that people who have attained some level of education are more likely to go for VCT compared to those with no education at all. Findings on marital status revealed that those in marriage union, those living together, the widowed, divorced and those sexually active but not living together were more likely to go for VCT compare to those who have never married (OR=2.0 p<0.01; OR=3.3 p<0.01; OR= 5.4 p<0.01; OR= 4.9 p<0.01 and OR=1.9 p<0.01 respectively) while respondents who used condoms consistently were less likely to take up VCT compared to those that did not (OR=0.7, p<0.05). The study recommends introduction of awareness and mobilization programs designed specifically for males, those with no education or with lower levels of education, as well as those who have never married in order to scale up VCT uptake.