Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices about HIV Testing and Counselling Among Adolescent Girls in Some Selected Secondary Schools in Malawi
The major objective of this study was to determine knowledge, attitudes and practices about HIV testing services and the uptake of this service amongst girls aged 15-19 in selected secondary schools in Malawi. A questionnaire was administered to 457 students and 18 focus group discussions and 45 in-depth interviews were conducted. The study found that almost every student knew about HTC but uptake was low as only about a third of the students reported having been tested. The uptake of this service also increased with age. Most of those tested wanted to know their sero-status. Others were tested because it was a requirement. Sixty nine per cent of the girls who did not go for the HIV test was mainly because either they were not sexually active or they felt they were not at risk. During FGDs some students did not test because they feared their parents would think they were sexually promiscuous. This study demonstrates the need for intensive campaigns among adolescent girls and their parents to create awareness about the importance of HIV testing as this is an entry point for all HIV and AIDS services. Afr J Reprod Health 2013 (Special Edition); 17: 60-68).
Keywords: Malawi, Adolescents, HIV testing and counselling