Factors Influencing the Uptake of Voluntary Counseling and Testing for HIV and AIDS among the Youth Attending Naguru Teenage Information and Health Centre
Bukenya, Denis Lewis
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The study examined the factors that influence the uptake of Voluntary Counseling and Testing for HIV and AIDS among the youth at Naguru Teenage Information and Health Centre (NTIHC). Specific Objectives were to: assess the extent to which knowledge influences uptake of VCT among youth, examine the extent to which attitudes influence the uptake of VCT among youth and investigate how the availability of services influence the uptake of VCT among youth at NTIHC. The sample size for this study was 169 respondents and 8 key informants. Data was collected by the use of self administered questionnaires, interview schedule and documentary review checklist. The study found out that knowledge of HIV/AIDS and VCT positively influences the Uptake of VCT, attitude influences uptake of VCT services, there was a significant relationship between the availability of services and uptake of VCT among youth as supported by the findings and that there was adequate knowledge on most aspects of VCT and HIV/AIDS by the youth. It is concluded that knowledge affects the uptake of VCT by youth, attitudinal related social determinants were not barriers for VCT uptake among youth and finally, that the availability of VCT services affects youth uptake of these services. The study recommends the promotion of VCT through sound and viable information and counseling interventions by involving mass media and parents to increase the level of knowledge about VCT. Health institutions and service providers also need to provide voluntary VCT services during extra working days and hours and Youth Friendly VCT services expanded. The existing facilities should be strengthened to address the needs of youth in the rural areas, HIV/AIDS awareness activities should be sustained and should address stigma and negative attitudes such as promiscuity that are associated with HIV/AIDS done by all health promoters working in the area of HIV/AIDS counseling, testing and care in Uganda and finally, Mobile VCT could help tap clients who are unable to travel to the VCT centres.