Determinants of HIV testing among rural women in Uganda
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ABSTRACT Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has become one of the world’s most serious health and development challenges. Voluntary HIV Counselling and Testing (VCT) is one of the key strategies in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS in Uganda. However, the utilization of VCT services particularly among women is low. The major barriers to VCT use among women were poor utilization of VCT services due to poor access, stigma and confidentiality of services. Despite the array of delivery approaches and the advantages of VCT, uptake in sub-Saharan Africa is disappointingly low with reports of 12% to 56% among couples or the general public. The purpose of this study was to establish the factors influencing HIV/AIDS testing uptake among women in Uganda by focusing socioeconomic and demographic characteristics of respondents. The objective of the study was to establish the influence of socio-demographic characteristics, socio-cultural factors and economic factors on HIV/AIDS testing uptake among women in Uganda. The study was conducted using UDHS 2016 but in consideration of the female/ women dataset from different regions of the country. The quantitative data in this research was analysed by descriptive statistics such as the frequencies percentages, cross tabulation using statistical package for social sciences (SPPS V 16). The research also conducted a correlation analysis. The study found that there is a positive and significant relationship between HIV/AIDS counselling and testing uptake among men and socio-demographic characteristics, socio-cultural factors and economic factors. Positive relationship indicates that there is a correlation between the factors and HIV/AIDS testing uptake among women. The study also concludes that the most important concerns are access to VCT services, confidentiality and quality of HIV results. Access to VCT services and to health services in general is a nationwide problem. The concerns of access overlap with those for confidentiality. The study recommends that there is a need of promotion of VCT through sound and viable information and counselling interventions by involving mass media, colleges, mass organizations and parents.