Human Immunodeficiency Virus Self‑Testing: Perspectives from Primary Healthcare Workers in Enugu State, Southeast Nigeria
Background: Stigmatization remains an intractable issue surrounding human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) management. Testing services are the gateway to treatment and prevention. HIV‑self testing (HIVST) is a panacea to this stigmatization. It is a simple friendly testing technique. This study assessed issues surrounding the HIVST from the perspectives of the primary health‑care workers in Enugu State.
Methods: A cross‑sectional study was carried out using a semi‑structured interviewer‑administered questionnaire. A convenience sampling of 238 respondents were sampled from the 17 local government areas of the state. Analyses were performed using IBM‑SPSS version 23. Ethical approval was obtained from the Enugu State Ministry of Health.
Results: The majority of the respondents were within the age of 31–50 years 84 (35.3%), predominantly females 203 (85.3%) and mainly married 191 (80.3%). Half of them had practiced for over 10 years and 145 (60.9%) had good knowledge of HIV screening. However, 23.9% understood HIVST as a testing modality approved by the World Health Organization. A handful of them, 25 (10.5%) correctly identified the 5Cs of HIV testing. Only 162 (68.1%) of the health‑care workers reported stigma as the most perceived problems of the present testing modality and 146 (61.3%) expressed a preference for HIVST over previous methods. Age was found to be a determinant of good knowledge of HIVST, as being within the age group of 20–40 years has a 1.83 greater odds of good knowledge of HIVST than, 41–60 years age group (Adjusted odds ratios = 1.830; 95% confidence interval 1.081–3.099).
Conclusion: Most of the Primary health‑care workers in Enugu State had poor knowledge of HIVST. These workers could benefit from awareness creation and training on HIVST by public health specialists to improve their knowledge.
Keywords: Enugu state, human immunodeficiency virus self‑testing, perspectives, primary health‑care workers