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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 10  |  Page : 52-56

Knowledge and uptake of HIV counseling and testing in faith-based school: Case study of REMI School, Gwagwalada, Abuja, Nigeria

Department of Community Medicine, College of Health Sciences, University of Abuja, Abuja, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Mustapha Abubakar Jamda
Department of Community Medicine, Faculty of Clinical Sciences, College of Health Sciences, University of Abuja, Abuja
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nnjcr.nnjcr_50_16

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Introduction: HIV counseling and testing (HCT) is the entry point to HIV prevention, care, and support services, especially among the adolescent group who are very vulnerable. This study is to assess the knowledge and uptake of HIV counseling and testing (HCT) services among secondary school students in Gwagwalada, Abuja. Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted using eligibility criteria in selecting the 89 students in the study. Information was obtained through the use of pretested self-administered questionnaires. Data were analyzed using SPSS software and presented in frequency and proportions. Results: Out of the 89 students surveyed, 45 (50.6%) were aware of HCT. Electronic media and friends/relations representing 33.3% each were the major sources of HCT information. Respondents had little knowledge of the purpose of HCT. A total of 78 (87.6%) were willing to be tested; the uptake of free HCT services offered was 5 (5.6%). Of the 11 (12.4%) not willing to be tested, 7 (63.6%) were afraid of positive result and 4 (36.4%) because of associated stigma. Conclusion: Despite 50.6% of respondents been aware of HCT and majority willing to have HCT, uptake of free HCT offered was 5.6%. HCT services should be extended to secondary schools as a matter of urgency to “catch them young.” Intensive awareness targeted at this group of youths should be carried out in environments they would be comfortable and free to accept the knowledge and services provided in adolescent-friendly manner to enhance uptake.

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