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Factors affecting acceptance of provider-initiated HIV testing and counseling services among outpatient clients in selected health facilities in Harar Town, Eastern Ethiopia

Authors Abdurahman S, Seyoum B, Oljira L, Weldegebreal F

Received 27 January 2015

Accepted for publication 2 March 2015

Published 15 May 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 157—165


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Shenghan Lai

Sami Abdurahman,1 Berhanu Seyoum,2 Lemessa Oljira,2 Fitsum Weldegebreal2

1Harari Regional Health Bureau, 2Haramaya University, College of Health and Medical Sciences, Harar, Ethiopia

Purpose: To improve the slow uptake of HIV counseling and testing, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) have developed draft guidelines on provider-initiated testing and counseling (PITC). Both in low- and high-income countries, mainly from outpatient clinics and tuberculosis settings, indicates that the direct offer of HIV testing by health providers can result in significant improvements in test uptake. In Ethiopia, there were limited numbers of studies conducted regarding PITC in outpatient clinics. Therefore, in this study, we have assessed the factors affecting the acceptance of PITC among outpatient clients in selected health facilities in Harar, Harari Region State, Ethiopia.
Materials and methods: Institutional-based, cross-sectional quantitative and qualitative studies were conducted from February 12–30, 2011 in selected health facilities in Harar town, Harari Region State, Ethiopia. The study participants were recruited from the selected health facilities of Harar using a systematic random sampling technique. The collected data were double entered into a data entry file using Epi Info version 3.5.1. The data were transferred to SPSS software version 16 and analyzed according to the different variables.
Results: A total of 362 (70.6%) clients accepted PITC, and only 39.4% of clients had heard of PITC in the outpatient department service. Age, occupation, marital status, anyone who wanted to check their HIV status, and the importance of PITC were the variables that showed significant associations with the acceptance of PITC upon bivariate and multivariate analyses. The main reasons given for not accepting the tests were self-trust, not being at risk for HIV, not being ready, needing to consult their partners, a fear of the results, a shortage of staff, a busy work environment, a lack of private rooms, and a lack of refresher training, which were identified as the main barriers for PITC.
Conclusion: There is evidence of the relatively increased acceptability of PITC services by outpatient department clients. A program needs to be strengthened to enhance the use of PITC; the Ministry of Health, Regional Health Bureau, and other responsible bodies – including health facilities – should design and strengthen information education and communication/behavioral change and communication interventions and promote activities related to PITC and HIV counseling and testing in both health facilities and the community at large.

Keywords: PITC, outpatient clients, Harar town, Eastern Ethiopia

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