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Perception of High School Students towards Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing, using Health Belief Model in Butajira, SNNPR

A Abebe
G Mitikie


Background: Voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) for HIV is one of the strategies for HIV/AIDS prevention, and yet, there is very little information on what influences the services in Ethiopia. Objective: To assess the perception and attitude of students towards VCT services using the Health Belief Model. Methods: A cross sectional descriptive study was conducted in January 2006, among Butajira senior secondary school students where a multi stage sampling method was used. Results: About ninety seven percent of the students had heard about VCT services but less than one fifth of them had undergone VCT. Eighty two percent of the students were willing to undergo VCT. It was shown that willingness to VCT was significantly associated with perceived susceptibility [AOR=0.37(0.28, 0.89)], perceived barrier [AOR= 0.45 (0.23, 0.89)] and perceived benefit [AOR=1.79 (1.44, 2.49)]. Conclusions: The majority of students had heard about VCT and revealed willingness to undergo VCT. High perceived susceptibility and barriers were associated with low willingness to undergo VCT. On the other hand, students with high perceived benefits showed better willingness to undergo VCT. It is recommended that messages on
VCT give emphasis on personal susceptibility to HIV/AIDS and benefits of VCT.

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eISSN: 1021-6790