Determinants of HIV voluntary counselling and testing among the youth: The case of Botswana

Master Thesis


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University of Cape Town

This study was conducted in Gaborone city, Botswana. Botswana is a small country in south central part of Africa with a population of 1.7 million (Botswana population census, 2001) The overall aim of the study was to examine barriers and facilitating factors influencing the readiness for and acceptability of voluntary HIV testing among the youth aged 18-24 years in Gaborone, Botswana. A quantitative methodology was used in this study. A multistage sampling strategy was also used to recruit one hundred and forty four (144) participants. Information on socio-demographic characteristic, knowledge and utilization of VCT sexual behaviour and perception of risk was gathered by use of a self administered structured questionnaire. STATA version 8 was used to analyse the results of this study. Summary statistics, chi-square test and logistic regression were employed in the analysis. Participants comprised of students from senior secondary schools and tertiary education institutions from the sampled schools of Gaborone. The modal level of education was secondary and the more than half of participants (56%) were females. Their age ranged from 18-24 years. The majority of participants (75%) were sexually active and just over a third 36% of all participants considered themselves not at risk of HIV. VCT knowledge was reported by a significant proportion (59%) who also reported knowledge of VCT sites. HIV testing was reported by a minority of participants 42% and the most commonly reported reason for testing was media campaigns encouraging HIV testing whilst the most commonly reported reason for not testing was never been sexually active. Findings from this study revealed that, HIV test acceptance among the youth is still an area that needs greater attention. The facilitation of HIV testing amongst the young people and removal of barriers to testing can be achieved through a focus on use of strategies that seem vii to work such as the media. Also, there is need to ensure utilization of VCT services by youth through making them understand of the role that VCT plays in preventing HIV and AIDS.

Includes bibliographical references.