Readiness for HIV testing among in schools youth: the role of social demographic and behavioral factors case study of secondary school student in Mwanza city

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University of Dar es Salaam
The high rate of HIV infection among youth (4%) calls for establishment of voluntary HIV counseling and testing services as part and parcel of any comprehensive HIV prevention program. In spite of ongoing efforts and extensive campaigns to promote voluntary counseling and testing through mass media including radio and television and by adopting social marketing strategies and related free services, testing of HIVG among in-school youth remains challenges in Tanzania in general and Mwanza city in particular. The main objective of this study was to examine the role of social demographic and behavioral factors (religious belief systems; interpersonal relation/interaction; communication between youth and their care takers; status of sexual relation and sexual experience) that influence readiness to test for HIV infection among in-school youth. Method: A total of 299 secondary school students (form one to form six) aged between 14-24 years were selected randomly from a list of 3510 students. Data collection was done using self-administered questionnaires. Completion of questionnaires took place in class rooms in each respective school whereby students were requested to answer all questions by writing and or choosing appropriate answers according to their life experiences and relatives. Results. The results show that 19.4% surveyed youth reported having tested for HIV, whereas 68.5%indicated would like to be tested in the future. HIV testing among schooling youth is significantly associated with age, having sexual partner, being sexually active (having sex) and talking with parents about VCT. There is no significant difference between HIV testing and readiness for testing between followers of different religions or whether one lived with parents, guardians or alone. Conclusion and recommendation: HIV test among the youth is subjected to a great number of seemingly unconnected but often inter-related factors. Efforts to promote VCT among schooling youth require a bolistic approach that should consider among other factors, socio-demographic and behavioural factors. Education about VCT services and benefits of testing should also involve parents and religious leaders. Areas such as parent`s perception regarding HIV testing among youth and issue of parent/guardian consent need further studies.
Available in print form, East Africana Collection, Dr. Wilbert Chagula Library, Class mark (THS EAF RA644.A25H47)
AIDS (Desease), HIV testing behavior, Voluntary testing, Youth development and deliquency, Prevention project, Case studies, Secondary School student in Mwanza
Herman, M. F (2006) Readiness for HIV testing among in schools youth: the role of social demographic and behavioral factors case study of secondary school student in Mwanza city, Master dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Dar es Salaam.