Journal of
AIDS and HIV Research

  • Abbreviation: J. AIDS HIV Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2359
  • DOI: 10.5897/JAHR
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 299

Article in Press

Prevalence and correlates of youth voluntary counseling and testing uptake among students of higher education institutions in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Chalachew Getahun Desta and Kiflu Kemal

  •  Received: 15 August 2020
  •  Accepted: 28 October 2022
HIV/AIDS remains a major public health concern worldwide, and young people are among the most vulnerable groups. Compared to adults, youth are characterized by significant physiological, psychological and social changes and aspirations that place their life at risky sexual and reproductive outcomes. Given the sensitive nature of adolescents with respect to sex and sexuality, students in the developing world are less informed, less experienced, and less comfortable in accessing VCT services than their adult counterparts. In the absence of VCT services that are designed to cater for the special needs of young students, it is reasonable to expect substantial VCT uptake problems among the youth in higher educational institutions. This paper analyzed the prevalence of and factors associated with voluntary counseling and testing (VCT hereafter) uptake among randomly selected young students. Adopting a cross-sectional study design, this paper used binary logistic regression model to analyze the data collected, using a survey questionnaire, from 354 randomly selected young students in two higher education institutions in Addis Ababa. Results show that 66.67% of the respondents uptake VCT service at least once in their life time. Low or lack of VCT knowledge (AOR: 6.34; CI: 2.67, 15.10; having a father with secondary and/or preparatory school education (AOR: 5.90; CI: 1.44, 24.39 and/or AOR: 4.02; CI: 1.12, 16.64; not having previous contraceptives use experience (AOR: 20.1; CI: 3.35, 120.3); and being indifferent about the length of waiting time (AOR: 1.73; CI: 0.92, 3.29) were positively associated with VCT uptake.. Whereas, being older than 18 years (AOR: 0.77; CI: 0.62, 0.97; university duration (AOR: 0.54; CI: 0.25, 1.14; being from a woman-headed household (AOR: 0.33; CI: 0.09, 1.04; and joint decision making regarding contraceptives (AOR: 0.36; CI: 0.14, 0.90) were negatively associated with VCT uptake. Conclusion: While the higher level of VCT uptake which is comparable to the figures reported by other studies is encouraging, results on the factors influencing the uptake were discussed and possible explanations for unexpected results offered.

Keywords: Voluntary counseling and testing, sexually transmitted infections, reproductive health, family planning, higher education institutions and VCT.