Warning: Trying to access array offset on value of type bool in /usr/www/users/urnnet/a/story.php on line 43 Men Prefer Receiving HIV Test Kits from Peers than Testing at Hospitals-New Study :: Uganda Radionetwork
According to Prof Joseph Matovu, the lead researcher from Busitema University Faculty of Health Sciences they tested the approach using fishermen in Buvuma and Kalangala islands considering the fact that the government struggles to have them consistently tested despite being one of the key populations in which HIV prevalence is higher than the national average.
self-test kits through secondary individuals who may not necessarily be health
workers has been found to be effective in luring more men into getting tested
for HIV. This is according to the results of a study done by researchers at
Busitema University where they found more men to be comfortable receiving kits
from their peers than visiting health facilities.
According to Prof Joseph Matovu, the lead researcher from Busitema University Faculty of
Health Sciences they tested the approach using fishermen in Buvuma and
Kalangala islands considering the fact that the government struggles to have them
consistently tested despite being one of the key populations in which HIV
prevalence is higher than the national average.
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areas, guidelines require that they test every three months but a lot of
men do not turn up despite such services being at health facilities. Now in
this study, Matovu says they distributed oral self-test kits to 400 men who
were tested, trained, and given kits to distribute to their peers. Results
show, more than 80% of the over eight hundred oral self-testing kits were
distributed and of those who received the kits, 88.4% were able to use them
Now, researchers say if the government adopted
this as part of the options for testing following studies involving a bigger
sample size, it would drive testing rates among men higher considering that
already men’s health-seeking behavior is low generally and yet, national
figures from the Uganda Population-based HIV Impact Assessment (UPHIA) survey
show older men to be having a
high HIV prevalence.
In the study,
prevalence was found to be high in the districts of Buvuma and Kalangala at
9.5% and 19.5%, higher than the national average currently estimated at 5.3%.
Overall, of the 400 men tested in the study, 31 percent were newly diagnosed
with the virus.
these findings, Geoffrey Taasi the program officer for HIV testing services at
the Ministry of Health noted that self-testing is an innovation that the
ministry ought to use to reach fishing communities and other key populations
since it's used at one’s convenience.
these results are timely considering that they are brainstorming on different
ways through which they can reach out to the fisher folk more effectively. For
him, this method can also be a solution of long challenges associated with testing
such as the risk of violence since one receives a kit from a peer, well known