Knowledge and perceptions of couples’ voluntary counseling and testing in urban Rwanda and Zambia: A cross-sectional household survey

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Joseph Telfair, Professor (Creator)
Institution
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Background: Most incident HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa occur between cohabiting, discordant, heterosexual couples. Though couples' voluntary HIV counseling and testing (CVCT) is an effective, well-studied intervention in Africa < 1% of couples have been jointly tested. Methods: We conducted cross-sectional household surveys in Kigali, Rwanda (n = 600) and Lusaka, Zambia (n = 603) to ascertain knowledge, perceptions, and barriers to use of CVCT. Results: Compared to Lusaka, Kigali respondents were significantly more aware of HIV testing sites (79% vs. 56%); had greater knowledge of HIV serodiscordance between couples (83% vs. 43%); believed CVCT is good (96% vs. 72%); and were willing to test jointly (91% vs. 47%). Stigma, fear of partner reaction, and distance/cost/logistics were CVCT barriers. Conclusions: Though most respondents had positive attitudes toward CVCT, the majority were unaware that serodiscordance between cohabiting couples is possible. Future messages should target gaps in knowledge about serodiscordance, provide logistical information about CVCT services, and aim to reduce stigma and fear.

Additional Information

Publication
PLoS One, 6(5), e19573
Language: English
Date: 2011
Keywords
HIV-Serostatus Disclosure, couples' voluntary counseling and testing, CVCT, to-child transmission, serodiscordance, South Africa