Effect of multiple intervention models on uptake of HIV testing services and sexual behaviour among residents of military cantonments in south-east Nigeria
Background: HIV testing and counselling (HTC) has been a viable tool in controlling the spread of HIV/AIDS, and serves as the entry point in the HIV care and treatment cascade. In Africa, HIV-related morbidity and mortality are high with thousands still unaware of their HIV status. This study assessed the effect of on-site multiple HIV control interventions on the uptake of HTC services, knowledge and sexual behaviour among residents of two military cantonments [barracks] in south-east Nigeria.
Methods: A quasi-experimental study was conducted among residents of cantonments in two states in Nigeria. A multistage sampling technique was used to select 350 respondents each at intervention and control sites. A pre-tested interviewer-administered questionnaire was used to collect information. On-site HTC services were established, with the training of HTC counsellors and peer educators. HIV awareness carnivals, with information, education and communication activities were conducted. Data were analysed with SPSS software and statistical tests carried out at 5% level of significance.
Results: There was a statistically significant increase in the uptake of HTC services from 41.1% pre-intervention to 81.1% post-intervention (χ2 = 113.8, p < 0.001). Also, knowledge about HIV improved significantly from 35.4% to 98.8% (p < 0.001) in the intervention group, together with avoidance of risky sexual behaviour.
Conclusion: The study demonstrated the effectiveness of multiple on-site intervention models in improving HIV knowledge, uptake of HTC services, and sexual behaviour among diverse cantonment residents. Establishing on-site HTC services and a constellation of awareness events will contribute significantly towards HIV prevention and control among high-risk populations.
Keywords: army barracks, awareness, HIV knowledge, MARP, multiple HIV intervention models, program evaluation, sexual conduct, uptake of HTC