Who tests, who doesn't, and why? Uptake of mobile HIV counseling and testing in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania.

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Optimally, expanded HIV testing programs should reduce barriers to testing while attracting new and high-risk testers. We assessed barriers to testing and HIV risk among clients participating in mobile voluntary counseling and testing (MVCT) campaigns in four rural villages in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania. METHODS: Between December 2007 and April 2008, 878 MVCT participants and 506 randomly selected community residents who did not access MVCT were surveyed. Gender-specific logistic regression models were used to describe differences in socioeconomic characteristics, HIV exposure risk, testing histories, HIV related stigma, and attitudes toward testing between MVCT participants and community residents who did not access MVCT. Gender-specific logistic regression models were used to describe differences in socioeconomic characteristics, HIV exposure risk, testing histories, HIV related stigma, and attitudes toward testing, between the two groups. RESULTS: MVCT clients reported greater HIV exposure risk (OR 1.20 [1.04 to 1.38] for males; OR 1.11 [1.03 to 1.19] for females). Female MVCT clients were more likely to report low household expenditures (OR 1.47 [1.04 to 2.05]), male clients reported higher rates of unstable income sources (OR 1.99 [1.22 to 3.24]). First-time testers were more likely than non-testers to cite distance to testing sites as a reason for not having previously tested (OR 2.17 [1.05 to 4.48] for males; OR 5.95 [2.85 to 12.45] for females). HIV-related stigma, fears of testing or test disclosure, and not being able to leave work were strongly associated with non-participation in MVCT (ORs from 0.11 to 0.84). CONCLUSIONS: MVCT attracted clients with increased exposure risk and fewer economic resources; HIV related stigma and testing-related fears remained barriers to testing. MVCT did not disproportionately attract either first-time or frequent repeat testers. Educational campaigns to reduce stigma and fears of testing could improve the effectiveness of MVCT in attracting new and high-risk populations.

Department

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Provenance

Citation

Published Version (Please cite this version)

10.1371/journal.pone.0016488

Publication Info

Ostermann, Jan, Elizabeth A Reddy, Meghan M Shorter, Charles Muiruri, Antipas Mtalo, Dafrosa K Itemba, Bernard Njau, John A Bartlett, et al. (2011). Who tests, who doesn't, and why? Uptake of mobile HIV counseling and testing in the Kilimanjaro Region of Tanzania. PLoS One, 6(1). p. e16488. 10.1371/journal.pone.0016488 Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/5955.

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Scholars@Duke

Jan Ostermann

Adjunct Associate Professor of Global Health
Muiruri

Charles Muiruri

Assistant Professor of Population Health Sciences

Dr. Muiruri is a health services researcher, Assistant Professor in the Duke Department of Population Health Sciences, Assistant Research Professor in the Global Health Institute, and Adjunct lecturer at the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College, Moshi Tanzania.
Broadly, his research seeks to improve the quality of healthcare and reduce disparities for persons with multiple chronic conditions both in and outside the United States. His current work focuses on prevention of nonAIDS comorbidities among people living with HIV. His current projects funded by NIAID, NHLBI and NIMHD focus on improving the quality of cardiovascular disease prevention and care among people living with HIV in North Carolina and Tanzania.

Areas of Expertise: Mixed methods, Qualitative methods, Applied Econometrics in Health services Research,  Preference research, Implementation Science, Global Health, Health Policy

Bartlett

John Alexander Bartlett

Professor of Medicine

My clinical investigation is focused on the pathogenesis and treatment of HIV infection and its complications, especially in resource-limited settings.

Key Words: HIV infection, AIDS, treatment strategies, treatment failure, co-infections, resource-limited settings

Thielman

Nathan Maclyn Thielman

Professor of Medicine

Broadly, my research focuses on a range of clinical and social issues that affect persons living with or at risk for HIV infection in resource-poor settings. In Tanzania, our group is applying novel methods to optimize HIV testing uptake among high-risk groups. We recently demonstrated that the Discrete Choice Experiment (DCE), a form of stated preference survey research, is a robust tool for identifying (a) which characteristics of HIV testing options are most preferred by different populations and (b) which tradeoffs individuals make in evaluating testing options. Building on more than a decade of productive HIV testing research in the Kilimanjaro Region, the next phase of our NIMH funded project will test the hypothesis that DCE-derived HIV testing options significantly increases rates of testing among groups at high risk for HIV infection. This work holds promise not only for optimizing HIV testing uptake in the Kilimanjaro Region, but also for applying novel tools in the service of translational epidemiology and implementation research.


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