Failure to test for HIV in rural ethiopia: Knowledge and belief correlates and implications for universal test and treat strategies

Alan R. Lifson, Workneh Demisse, Kassu Ketema, Alemayehu Tadesse, Randy May, Bereket Yakob, Lucy Slater, Tibebe Shenie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Goals of universal "test and treat" will never be fully realized if testing acceptance remains low, including rural areas, where HIV is increasingly recognized. We surveyed 250 randomly selected households from a rural Ethiopian town (Arba Minch) and surrounding villages about HIV testing experience, knowledge, and attitudes. Of the 558 adults, 45% were never HIV tested. Those never tested for HIV were more likely to be (P <.05) ≥45 years, rural villagers, and unaware of the benefits of antiretroviral therapy treatment and that persons with HIV can appear healthy; they were more likely to believe HIV-infected persons would be stigmatized and unsupported by their communities. Of those never tested, 70% were interested in HIV testing if offered. Despite recommendations that all persons be HIV tested, almost half of the adult residents in this rural community were never tested. Programs to increase HIV testing must include measures to address stigma/discrimination and knowledge deficits including benefits of early diagnosis and treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-311
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the International Association of Providers of AIDS Care
Volume12
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2013

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author(s) declared receipt of the following financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article: Funding for this project was provided by the World Health Organization's Country Office for Ethiopia and the University of Minnesota's Office for International Programs.

Keywords

  • HIV testing
  • rural populations
  • stigma
  • sub-Saharan Africa

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