Individual, household and community factors associated with HIV test refusal in rural Malawi.
ABSTRACT To investigate individual, household and community factors associated with HIV test refusal in a counselling and testing programme offered at population level in rural Malawi.
HIV counselling and testing was offered to individuals aged 18-59 at their homes. Individual variables were collected by interviews and physical examinations. Household variables were determined as part of a previous census. Multivariate models allowing for household and community clustering were used to assess associations between HIV test refusal and explanatory variables.
Of 2303 eligible adults, 2129 were found and 1443 agreed to HIV testing. Test refusal was less likely by those who were never married [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0.50 for men (95% CI 0.32; 0.80) and 0.44 (0.21; 0.91) for women] and by farmers [aOR 0.70 (0.52; 0.96) for men and 0.59 (0.40; 0.87) for women]. A 10% increase in cluster refusal rates increased the odds of refusal by 1.48 (1.32; 1.66) in men and 1.68 (1.32; 2.12) in women. Women counsellors increased the odds of refusal by 1.39 (1.00; 1.92) in men. Predictors of HIV test refusal in women were refusal of the husband as head of household [aOR 15.08 (9.39; 24.21)] and living close to the main road [aOR 6.07 (1.76; 20.98)]. Common reasons for refusal were fear of testing positive, previous HIV test, knowledge of HIV serostatus and the need for more time to think.
Successful VCT strategies need to encourage couples counselling and should involve participation of men and communities.
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ABSTRACT: Effective national and global HIV responses require a significant expansion of HIV testing and counselling (HTC) to expand access to prevention and care. Facility-based HTC, while essential, is unlikely to meet national and global targets on its own. This article systematically reviews the evidence for community-based HTC. PubMed was searched on 4 March 2013, clinical trial registries were searched on 3 September 2012, and Embase and the World Health Organization Global Index Medicus were searched on 10 April 2012 for studies including community-based HTC (i.e., HTC outside of health facilities). Randomised controlled trials, and observational studies were eligible if they included a community-based testing approach and reported one or more of the following outcomes: uptake, proportion receiving their first HIV test, CD4 value at diagnosis, linkage to care, HIV positivity rate, HTC coverage, HIV incidence, or cost per person tested (outcomes are defined fully in the text). The following community-based HTC approaches were reviewed: (1) door-to-door testing (systematically offering HTC to homes in a catchment area), (2) mobile testing for the general population (offering HTC via a mobile HTC service), (3) index testing (offering HTC to household members of people with HIV and persons who may have been exposed to HIV), (4) mobile testing for men who have sex with men, (5) mobile testing for people who inject drugs, (6) mobile testing for female sex workers, (7) mobile testing for adolescents, (8) self-testing, (9) workplace HTC, (10) church-based HTC, and (11) school-based HTC. The Newcastle-Ottawa Quality Assessment Scale and the Cochrane Collaboration's "risk of bias" tool were used to assess the risk of bias in studies with a comparator arm included in pooled estimates. 117 studies, including 864,651 participants completing HTC, met the inclusion criteria. The percentage of people offered community-based HTC who accepted HTC was as follows: index testing, 88% of 12,052 participants; self-testing, 87% of 1,839 participants; mobile testing, 87% of 79,475 participants; door-to-door testing, 80% of 555,267 participants; workplace testing, 67% of 62,406 participants; and school-based testing, 62% of 2,593 participants. Mobile HTC uptake among key populations (men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs, female sex workers, and adolescents) ranged from 9% to 100% (among 41,110 participants across studies), with heterogeneity related to how testing was offered. Community-based approaches increased HTC uptake (relative risk [RR] 10.65, 95% confidence interval [CI] 6.27-18.08), the proportion of first-time testers (RR 1.23, 95% CI 1.06-1.42), and the proportion of participants with CD4 counts above 350 cells/µl (RR 1.42, 95% CI 1.16-1.74), and obtained a lower positivity rate (RR 0.59, 95% CI 0.37-0.96), relative to facility-based approaches. 80% (95% CI 75%-85%) of 5,832 community-based HTC participants obtained a CD4 measurement following HIV diagnosis, and 73% (95% CI 61%-85%) of 527 community-based HTC participants initiated antiretroviral therapy following a CD4 measurement indicating eligibility. The data on linking participants without HIV to prevention services were limited. In low- and middle-income countries, the cost per person tested ranged from US$2-US$126. At the population level, community-based HTC increased HTC coverage (RR 7.07, 95% CI 3.52-14.22) and reduced HIV incidence (RR 0.86, 95% CI 0.73-1.02), although the incidence reduction lacked statistical significance. No studies reported any harm arising as a result of having been tested. Community-based HTC achieved high rates of HTC uptake, reached people with high CD4 counts, and linked people to care. It also obtained a lower HIV positivity rate relative to facility-based approaches. Further research is needed to further improve acceptability of community-based HTC for key populations. HIV programmes should offer community-based HTC linked to prevention and care, in addition to facility-based HTC, to support increased access to HIV prevention, care, and treatment. International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews CRD42012002554 Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary.PLoS Medicine 08/2013; 10(8):e1001496. · 15.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: The role of socio-cultural factors in influencing access to HIV/AIDS treatment, care and support is increasingly recognized by researchers, international donors and policy makers. Although many of them have been identified through qualitative studies, the evidence gathered by quantitative studies has not been systematically analysed. To fill this knowledge gap, we did a systematic review of quantitative studies comparing surveys done in high and low income countries to assess the extent to which socio-cultural determinants of access, identified through qualitative studies, have been addressed in epidemiological survey studies. METHODS: Ten electronic databases were searched (Cinahl, EMBASE, ISI Web of Science, IBSS, JSTOR, MedLine, Psyinfo, Psyindex and Cochrane). Two independent reviewers selected eligible publications based on the inclusion/exclusion criteria. Meta-analysis was used to synthesize data comparing studies between low and high income countries. RESULTS: Thirty-four studies were included in the final review, 21 (62%) done in high income countries and 13 (38%) in low income countries. In low income settings, epidemiological research on access to HIV/AIDS services focused on socio-economic and health system factors while in high income countries the focus was on medical and psychosocial factors. These differences depict the perceived different barriers in the two regions. Common factors between the two regions were also found to affect HIV testing, including stigma, high risk sexual behaviours such as multiple sexual partners and not using condoms, and alcohol abuse. On the other hand, having experienced previous illness or other health conditions and good family communication was associated with adherence to ART uptake. Due to insufficient consistent data, a meta-analysis was only possible on adherence to treatment. CONCLUSIONS: This review offers evidence of the current challenges for interdisciplinary work in epidemiology and public health. Quantitative studies did not systematically address in their surveys important factors identified in qualitative studies as playing a critical role on the access to HIV/AIDS services. The evidences suggest that the problem lies in the exclusion of the qualitative information during the questionnaire design. With the changing face of the epidemic, we need a new and improved research strategy that integrates the results of qualitative studies into quantitative surveys.BMC Health Services Research 05/2013; 13(1):198. · 1.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The high burden of undiagnosed HIV in sub-Saharan Africa is a major obstacle for HIV prevention and treatment. Multi-disease, community health campaigns (CHCs) offering HIV testing are a successful approach to rapidly increase HIV testing rates and identify undiagnosed HIV. However, a greater understanding of population-level uptake is needed to maximize effectiveness of this approach. After community sensitization and a census, a five-day campaign was performed in May 2012 in a rural Ugandan community. The census enumerated all residents, capturing demographics, household location, and fingerprint biometrics. The CHC included point-of-care screening for HIV, malaria, TB, hypertension and diabetes. Residents who attended vs. did not attend the CHC were compared to determine predictors of participation. Over 12 days, 18 census workers enumerated 6,343 residents. 501 additional residents were identified at the campaign, for a total community population of 6,844. 4,323 (63%) residents and 556 non-residents attended the campaign. HIV tests were performed in 4,795/4,879 (98.3%) participants; 1,836 (38%) reported no prior HIV testing. Of 2674 adults tested, 257 (10%) were HIV-infected; 125/257 (49%) reported newly diagnosed HIV. In unadjusted analyses, adult resident campaign non-participation was associated with male sex (62% male vs. 67% female participation, p = 0.003), younger median age (27 years in non-participants vs. 32 in participants; p<0.001), and marital status (48% single vs. 71% married/widowed/divorced participation; p<0.001). In multivariate analysis, single adults were significantly less likely to attend the campaign than non-single adults (relative risk [RR]: 0.63 [95% CI: 0.53-0.74]; p<0.001), and adults at home vs. not home during census activities were significantly more likely to attend the campaign (RR: 1.20 [95% CI: 1.13-1.28]; p<0.001). CHCs provide a rapid approach to testing a majority of residents for HIV in rural African settings. However, complementary strategies are still needed to engage young, single adults and achieve universal testing.PLoS ONE 01/2014; 9(1):e84317. · 3.73 Impact Factor