Background; Our study was carried out during a three month period starting December 2005. Our main objectives was to explore the level of acceptance of voluntary counselling and testing for HIV, and knowledge on HIV and HIV treatment among adult sexually active men attending an outpatient clinic.
Method; We visited the Majengo Health Clinic, and a total of 146 interviews using a structured questionnaire were performed. All men attending the clinic were included, regardless of reason for attending. Local health workers acted as interpreters. After completing the questionnaire, all men were offered VCT.
Results; 81% accepted the offer to undergo VCT, numbers were higher among the 40% previously tested (91.4% vs 73.9%, p = 0.010). Among those with positive expectations on receiving proper treatment if HIV positive, the acceptance of VCT was significantly higher (85.5% vs 50%, p = 0.03).
88% were aware of MTCT, 84% of the ability of ART to postpone symptoms, prolong life but not eliminate the disease. Yet 24% were unaware of the long asymptomatic phase of HIV infection. Independent samples T-test analysis showed a significantly higher score on these questions among men reporting secondary school or above as their educational level (p = 0.040).
9.3% (n=11) were HIV positive. 2.8% (n=4) tested positive for syphilis, and as they all were HIV positive as well, the correlation between the two diseases was significant (p=0.000). The results were suggestive of a higher prevalence of genital ulcer among HIV positives (18.2% vs 2.8%, p= 0.068).
Conclusions; Acceptance of VCT among males in this population is high. General knowledge and awareness of HIV and treatment is fair, but misconceptions on asymptomatic phase of HIV-infection stress the need for more public informational campaigns and other measures.