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East African Medical Journal

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Predictors of HIV self-testing among health workers at Nyeri Provincial Hospital in Kenya

JK Muthoka, H Du Toit

Abstract


Background: HIV self-testing is recognised as a possible option of expanding access to HIV testing and counselling (HTC). There is high demand for self testing among health workers. However, in many health facilities in Kenya, the rate of unregulated self-testing and factors influencing the practice remain unknown.

Objectives: To determine the prevalence and factors influencing HIV self-testing among health workers

Design: A descriptive cross-sectional study.

Setting: Nyeri Provincial Hospital, the largest public hospital in Central Kenya.

Subjects: Four hundred and fourteen Health workers at Nyeri Provincial Hospital who included the following cadres: Nurses, Doctors, Clinical officers, Laboratory Technicians, Community Health Workers and HTC counsellors.

Results: The proportion of self-testers were 65.8% (N=348). The significant predictors of HIV self-testing were identified as age, difficulty of conducting HIV self-test, reliability of HIV self-test results and confidence in HIV positive self-test results. Self-testers (n=229) identified factors that influenced them to self-test as: easy access to test kits, obligation to test themselves, saves time and fear of stigma. Non self-testers (n=119) identified inability to handle HIV positive results; idea of self-test scares me, fear of stigma and lack of access to test kits as factors inhibiting self-testing.

Conclusions: Self-testing is highly practiced by health workers at Nyeri provincial hospital. HIV related stigma needs to be addressed. Increasing access to test kits may increase self-testing.




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