Introduction: less than 10% of HIV positive children are enrolled into antiretroviral treatment program in the country. Provider-initiated testing and counseling was introduced to increasing uptake of HIVtesting. The aim of this study is to determine the acceptability and factors undermining the acceptance of this laudable initiative by parents/caregivers of children attending paediatric out patient clinical services in our health institution. Methods: a cross sectional study of children aged 18 months to 18 years and their parents/caregivers attending paediatric outpatient clinic of the hospital was undertaken for the above objectives. Results: there were statistically more female parents/caregivers (82.5%, p=0.00), more male patients (52.9 %, p= 0.02), and 11.9% adolescentsin this study. While 91.7% of parents/caregivers admitted not having knowledge of PITC, 95.6% knew what HIV was. Acceptance of the program was high (98.7%), majority (89.7%) wanting to know the HIV status of their children/wards. Non-acceptance wassmall (1.2%), there main reason being prior knowledge of their HIV status.Prevalence of HIV among tested children was 1.7%. There was a strong relationship between having willingness to test for HIV and many of the study variables with religion of the parents/caregivers having the strongest relationship [OR: 13.94, (CI 1.82, 55.34)], and tribe having list association, [OR: 3.60, (CI 1.85, 17.14)]. Conclusion: there was general wiliness to accept HIV test for children by their parents/caregiver in this study, and HIV prevalence in children is on a downward trend; its sustenance to be continued and adolescent clinics need to be created.
The Pan African Medical Journal 2016;24