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Title: Factors accounting for the low participation in voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) programme among the youth in the Ablekuma sub- metro in the Accra Metropolis
Authors: Abudey, Dorothy Akpene
Issue Date: 10-Nov-2005
Series/Report no.: 4031;
Abstract: The need for VCT is increasingly compelling as HIV infection rates continue to rise and countries recognize the need for their youth to know their HIV status as an important preventive tool. The main objective for the study is to determine factors that account for the low participation in VCT programmes among the youth of Ablekuma Sub -Metro. This is a descriptive cross sectional study which sought to assess low utilization of VCT among the youth. The study adopted both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection using a structured questionnaire, interview guide, checklist and focus group discussion (FGD) guide respectively. The study was conducted in one JSS, three SSS, selected auto mechanic and dress makers’ shops as well as selected VCT sites in the Accra Metropolis. S ample size was calculated using a single population sample mean formula to obtain 100 respondents. 16 service providers were selected based on convenience while 10 youths were selected purposely for their inclusion in the exit interview. Survey data was entered using Access and analyzed with STATA. The results indicate that knowledge and awareness of VCT among the survey respondents was very low (34%) even though a majority had heard of VCT. However, more than half of the respondents (59%) were sexually active but a very small percentage (17%) perceived themselves to be at risk of HIV infection. Condom use among sexually active youth was generally low (26%). Meanwhile a majority of exit interview respondents rated counseling as being adequate. On the contrary, most service providers felt there was the need to upgrade their knowledge to ensure friendly services. Besides, most survey respondents prefer strict confidentiality and privacy at VCT sites. Also, both staff and site should be youth friendly. Even though a majority of respondents (74%) wanted to be screened and tested for HIV/AIDS, only a few (6%) have actually been screened and tested for HIV. Even though, few survey respondents have full knowledge of VCT, a majority of youth were aware of some benefits of VCT to the youth. Finally, the major barriers that were identified in the study were mainly stigma; lack of knowledge about availability of VCT service, youth concerns about confidentiality, financial constraints and service providers not being sympathetic towards the youth. In conclusion, there is the need for a comprehensive counseling and education on VCT services in Ablekuma to motivate more youth to seek VCT to help normalize HIV/AIDS, thereby reducing the stigma attached to the infection. It is recommended that school health programmes should incorporate VCT and related issues into basic and secondary school curricula as well as the curricula for all trade and artisan training programmes.
Description: A dissertation submitted to the School of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Masters in Public Health degree in population and Reproductive Health, 2005
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/1709
Appears in Collections:College of Health Sciences

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