Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices about HIV Testing and Counselling Among Adolescent Girls in Some Selected Secondary Schools in Malawi

Alister C. Munthali, Peter M. Mvula, Dixie Maluwa-Banda

Abstract

The major objective of this study was to determine knowledge, attitudes and practices  about HIV testing services and the uptake of this service amongst girls aged 15-19 in selected secondary schools in Malawi. A questionnaire was administered to 457 students and 18 focus group discussions and 45 in-depth interviews were conducted. The study found that almost every student knew about HTC but uptake was low as only about a third of the students reported having been tested. The uptake of this service also increased with age. Most of those tested wanted to know their sero-status. Others were tested because it was a requirement. Sixty nine per cent of the girls who did not go for the HIV test was mainly because either they were not sexually active or they felt they were not at risk. During FGDs some students did not test because they feared their parents would think they were sexually promiscuous. This study demonstrates the need for intensive campaigns among adolescent girls and their parents to create awareness about the importance of HIV testing as this is an entry point for all HIV and AIDS services. Afr J Reprod Health 2013 (Special Edition); 17[4]: 60-68).

 

Keywords: Malawi, Adolescents, HIV testing and counselling

 

Résumé

 

L'objectif principal de cette étude était de déterminer la connaissance, attitudes et pratiques concernant les services de dépistage du VIH et l'absorption de ce service chez les filles de 15-19 ans dans les écoles secondaires choisies au Malawi. Un questionnaire a été administré à 457 étudiants et 18 groupes de discussion cible et  45 entretiens approfondis ont été menés. L'étude a révélé que presque toutes les étudiantes connaissaient le DCV mais l'absorption est faible puisque seulement environ un tiers des étudiantes ont déclaré avoir  déjà subi l’analyse. L'acceptation  de ce service a  également augmenté avec l'âge. La plupart des personnes qui ont subi l’analyse ont voulu connaître leur état sérologique. D'autres ont subi l’analyse parce que c'était une exigence. Soixanteneuf pour cent des filles  n’avaient pas subi l’analyse de dépistage du VIH soit parce qu’elles  n'étaient pas sexuellement actives soit parce qu’elles ne  se sentaient pas en danger. Pendant les DGC certaines étudiantes n'ont pas n’on pas subi l’analyse parce qu'elles craignaient que leurs parents pensent qu'elles s’engagent dans la promiscuité sexuelle. Cette étude démontre la nécessité de campagnes intensives chez les adolescentes et leurs parents à fin de leur sensibiliser sur l'importance du dépistage du VIH, car c'est un point d'entrée pour tous les services liés au VIH et au sida. Afr J Reprod Health 2013 (Special Edition); 17[4]: 60-68).

 

Mots-clés : Malawi,  adolescents,  dépistage et le conseil relatif au VIH

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