Prevalence of HIV and discordant rate and their associated factors among premarital Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) clients in Addis Ababa public VCT centers, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Background: Understanding and monitoring the prevalence of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection among premarital clients and determining discordant rate and applying specific interventions targeted at this group could bring dual benefits as it prevents both heterosexual and vertical transmission of the disease.
Objective: To assess the prevalence of HIV and discordant rate and factors associated with them among premarital voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) clients in public VCT centers in Addis Ababa.
Methods: A cross-sectional facility-based study was conducted from March to April 2008. Seven public VCT centers were selected using simple random sampling. Then all consecutive premarital VCT clients were interviewed using a pre-tested structured questionnaire.
Results: Of the 392 premarital VCT clients who participated in the study, 8.2% were sero- positive. HIV sero-status was significantly associated with the number of lifetime sexual partners (AOR (95%CI) = 9.06 (2.66-30.83)), previous history of HIV testing (AOR (95%CI) =6.70 (2.32-19.35)) and type of VCT service utilization (AOR (95%CI) = 4.17 (1.53-11.36)). Out of the 138 couples, 6.5% were found to be sero-discordant, while concordant negatives and concordant positives accounted for 92.0% and 1.4% respectively. Both HIV sero-positivity and discordance were relatively higher among those who were previously separated/divorced and widowed.
Conclusion and recommendation: As considerable prevalence of sero-positivity and sero-discordant among premarital couples were observed in this study, every effort needs to be made to make premarital couples become aware of their own and their partners’ sero-status before engagement.