Acceptance of HIV Counseling and Testing among Antenatal Clinic Attendees in Southern Ethiopia
BACKGROUND: Counseling and testing for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) (HCT) during antenatal care (ANC) is a critical entry point for the prevention of mother-to-child
transmission (PMTCT) of HIV. However, in Ethiopia limited evidence exists regarding the extent of acceptance of the service. The study aimed to assess the level and factors associated with acceptance of HCT in Hawassa city, Southern Ethiopia.
METHODS: Cross-sectional study was conducted in four public health facilities found in the city. Five hundred and four ANC clients were selected using multistage sampling technique. Data were collected via interviewer administered questionnaire and analyzed using multivariable binary logistic regression analysis. The outputs are presented using adjusted odds ratio (AOR) with 95% confidence interval (CI).
RESULTS: The vast majority, 84.1% (95% CI: 80.6-87.2%), of the respondents accepted the HCT. Acceptance was positively associated with being married [AOR=5.60 (95% CI: 1.87-16.50)], having two or more ANC visits [4.93 (95% CI: 2.40-10.07)], history of prior HIV testing [4.23 (95% CI: 1.90-9.74)], having good knowledge about MTCT [4.91 (95% CI: 2.07-11.6)] and PMTCT [6.22 (95% CI: 2.87-13.50)] and having no fear of stigma and
discrimination [3.32 (95% CI: 1.57-7.02)].
CONCLUSION: Acceptance of HCT can be further improved by enhancing the knowledge of mother about PMTCT and combating stigma and discrimination.
KEYWORDS: HIV testing acceptance, antenatal care, stigma and discrimination, prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, Hawassa, Ethiopia.