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Provider-Initiated HIV Testing and Counselling in Rwanda: Acceptability among Clinic Attendees and Workers, Reasons for Testing and Predictors of Testing

Kayigamba, Felix R.; Bakker, Mirjam I.; Mugisha, Veronicah; Lammers, Judith; Bagiruwigize, Emmanuel; Asiimwe, Anita; Schim van der Loeff, Maarten F.

Introduction: Routine provider-initiated HIV testing and counselling (PITC) may increase HIV testing rates, but whether PITC is acceptable to health facility (HF) attendees is unclear. In the course of a PITC intervention study in Rwanda, we assessed the acceptability of PITC, reasons for being or not being tested and factors associated with HIV testing.

Methods: Attendees were systematically interviewed in March 2009 as they left the HF, regarding knowledge and acceptability of PITC, history of testing and reasons for being tested or not. Subsequently, PITC was introduced in 6 of the 8 HFs and a second round of interviews was conducted. Independent factors associated with testing were analysed using logistic regression. Randomly selected health care workers (HCWs) were also interviewed.

Results: 1772 attendees were interviewed. Over 95% agreed with the PITC policy, both prior to and after implementation of PITC policy. The most common reasons for testing were the desire to know one’s HIV status and having been offered an HIV test by an HCW. The most frequent reasons for not being tested were known HIV status and test not being offered. In multivariable analysis, PITC, age ≥15 years, and not having been previously tested were factors significantly associated with testing. Although workload was increased by PITC, HIV testing rates increased and HCWs overwhelmingly supported the policy.

Conclusion: Among attendees and HCWs in Rwandan clinics, the acceptability of PITC was very high. PITC appeared to increase testing rates and may be helpful in prevention and early access to treatment.

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Academic Units
International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs
Publisher
Public Library of Science
Published Here
October 21, 2016
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