Assessment of Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing Service Utilization and Associated Health Service Related Factors Among Out of School Youth in Nakuru Kenya: A Cross Sectional Survey

James Ayugi, Irene Cheruiyot, Philip Opondo, Anthony Olashore


Background: Voluntary HIV counseling and testing (VCT) is one of the key tools in the HIV/AIDS prevention and control programs in Kenya. But utilization of VCT services among out of school youth is low. The aim of this study was to investigate health service related factors associated with VCT utilization among out of school youth in a rural setting since though they are a risk group in Kenya they are less likely than other groups to be offered this service. A cross sectional study design was done among 369 out of school youth aged 18-35 drawn from three rural divisions of Nakuru County, Kenya, using proportionate and purposive sampling technique. Self-administered questionnaire was used to estimate the prevalence of VCT service utilization and to assess associated health service related factors. Data were entered and analyzed using SPSS version 11.5. The study sample consisted of 56.1% males and 43.9% females. The mean age for those who had utilized VCT was 24 for men and 23 for females. The majority of the out-of- school youth (62.6%) had not utilized VCT. Poor utilization of VCT services was found to be associated with perception of quality of VCT services. It was shown that VCT utilization was significantly associated with competence of VCT counselors and youth friendliness of the services. CT utilization among out-of- school youth in Nakuru County was low. The major factors identified for increased VCT service utilization were better perception of the quality of the VCT services, and more competence of the CVT counselors. Hence, HIV/AIDS prevention and control programs in Nakuru County should focus on the above areas.

Keywords: HIV testing, VCT utilization, Stigma, Knowledge, Out of school youth, Nakuru, Kenya

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5731 ISSN (Online)2225-0972

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