Willingness to undergo HIV testing in the Kintampo districts of Ghana
Background: HIV testing is currently a major prevention intervention and remains an entry point to early treatment, care and support. Uptake is however low and alternative approaches are currently being adopted.
Objective: An HIV module was incorporated into the routine survey of the Kintampo Health and Demographic Surveillance System (KHDSS) to assess the willingness of adults living in the Kintampo North and South districts to undergo HIV testing.
Design: The study was a descriptive cross-sectional household survey. Univariate and multivariate analysis were used to identify predictors of the willingness to undergo HIV testing.
Participants: Respondents were community members aged 15 to 49 years and selected from randomly generated household listings from the KHDSS.
Results: A total of 11,604 respondents were interviewed, 10,982 (94.6%) of respondents had good general knowledge on HIV/AIDS. Among those with knowledge about HIV/AIDS, 10,819 (98.5%) indicated their willingness to get tested for HIV. Rural residents were more willing to undergo HIV testing than urban dwellers Odds ratio=1.42 (95% Confidence interval:
1.03, 1.96; P-value=0.031). Respondents with primary education were more likely to go for testing relative to those without any education OR=2.02 (95% CI: 0.87, 4.70; P-value=0.046).
Conclusion: Expressed willingness to test for HIV is high in this population. Exploring community and population-based interventions to HIV testing and counseling could increase uptake of HIV testing services and should be considered. The underlying motivations need to be explored in order to translate willingness into actual testing.
Key words: HIV/AIDS, Routine survey, Willingness to test, Logistic regression, Ghana