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Journal of Community Medicine and Primary Health Care

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Attitude and practice of health care workers in a tertiary health facility towards voluntary counselling and testing for HIV

OH Okojie, VO Omuemu

Abstract


Context: Nigeria is right now battling with the epidemic of HIV/AIDS with a median prevalence of 5.0%. Voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) is being advocated so that people can know their HIV status and modify their behaviour appropriately. Health workers are at risk of contracting and spreading the HIV infection and it would therefore be needful for them to know their status and they also are in a vantage position to promote and encourage VCT. This study was therefore designed to assess their attitude and practice towards this strategy.

Methodology: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted among health workers in the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, a tertiary health institution in Benin City, Edo State between October 2002 and April 2003 using a stratified random sampling method in selecting respondents. Information was obtained through the use of self-administered questionnaire.

Results: A total of 242 health workers made up of 48.8% doctors, 33.1% nurses, 11.2% laboratory scientists and 6.9% pharmacists were involved in the study. Mean age of respondents was 35.8 + 8.7 years. One hundred and seventy four (71.9%) had actually been screened for HIV. Eighty-two (47.1%) of these did so voluntarily while it was mandatory for 92 (52.9%) others. A total of 227 (93.8%) appreciated the importance of knowing one's HIV status observing that it will enable them take precautions (52.1%) and enable them commence treatment early, (19.4%).

Conclusion: Since VCT for HIV is an important component of HIV prevention and care, it should be promoted in health care settings.
KEY WORDS: Voluntary counselling and testing; Attitudes; Practice; Health care workers
Journal of Community Medicine & Primary Health Care Vol.16(2) 2004: 39-42



http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/jcmphc.v16i2.32412
AJOL African Journals Online