Paediatric HIV test in a south-eastern tertiary centre: does provider initiated testing and counseling increase the uptake rate?
Background: Provider Initiated Testing and Counseling (PITC) encourage early detection of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection and prompt treatment once diagnosis is confirmed. It was primarily designed to augment the universal screening of clients at presentation to a health facility. Sustaining PITC in health facilities appears to be facing numerous challenges with reduction of testing rates
Objectives: The study was carried out to determine the rate of uptake of HIV testing prior to and during PITC era, and to assess the influence of PITC on HIV testing rate in children at the service points of the hospital
Methodology: Data were extracted from clinical records of all children (aged below 18 years) who presented in our centre Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital (NAUTH) Nnewi, Nigeria from March 2005 to December 2010 (era of voluntary counseling and testing); and from January 2010 to March 2015 (era of PITC) using questionnaires. Analysis was done with SPSS version 20.
Results: Out of a total of 76,825 children who presented to the hospital from March 2005 to March 2015, seven thousand five hundred and three children (9.8%) were tested for HIV. The highest uptake of HIV testing was 18.7% recorded in 2011, with subsequent decline until 2015 (11.8%). There was significant association between year of testing and result of tests (P=0.001)
Conclusion: Provider initiated testing improved the uptake of HIV testing in our centre when compared to voluntary testing, but this was not sustained.
Keywords: Voluntary Counseling and testing, HIV screenin , Infectious diseases, Communicable diseases