Do clients receiving Home based testing and counselling (HBTC) utilize the HIV prevention messages delivered? A study among residents in an urban informal settlement in Kenya who previously received HBTC.

Oluoch P, Achia T,Mutinda D, Orwa J,Oundo J, Karama M, Ng’ang’a Z

Oluoch P1, Achia T1,Mutinda D2, Orwa J2 ,Oundo J3, Karama M2, Ng’ang’a Z4

  1. Division of Global HIV/AIDS & TB (DGHT), US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Kenya and Institute of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases (ITROMID)
  2. Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), Kenya
  3. United States Army Medical Research Unit (USAMRU), Kericho, Kenya
  4. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology. Nairobi, Kenya

Corresponding Author: Patricia Oluoch, Email


Background: Home based HIV testing and counseling (HBTC) increases access to services and is associated with high testing uptake. Alongside testing, individuals are offered HIV prevention messages with an aim of helping them reduce HIV high risk sexual behaviors.  This study explored the level of provision and subsequent utilization of HIV prevention messages and associated change in behavior among individuals who had received HBTC previously in an informal settlement.                                                    

Methods: In a mixed method cross sectional study, we interviewed 1257 individuals and conducted 6 focus group discussions (FGD). Multiple correspondence analysis (MCA) was used to construct provision of prevention messages and behavior change indices using STATA 3.0. Pearson’s chi-square statistics was used to test for bivariate association between the outcomes and logistic regression analysis was carried out with the behavior change index as the outcome of interest and the predictors considered significant (p<0.1). Thematic content analysis for qualitative data was done using Atlas 3.0.

Results: Out of the 1257participants, 1078 (85.8%) had ever tested for HIV, with 74.2% having tested in the Kibera HBTC program. Nearly all (97.4%) rated HBTC experience as either excellent (62.4%) or good (37%) and would recommend it to a friend.  Provision of prevention messages was high among HBTC clients  compared to clients from other testing sites; partner reduction counselling (64% versus 52%) and faithfulness (78.3% versus 67%); p= 0.001. Self-reported behavior change after HBTC was generally low with condom use at 10.7% and men more likely to practice safer sex (p = 0.002). Trust of the sexual partners and fear of suspicion were the main reasons given for not using condoms.  Clients testing HIV positive after previous negative result were 3.4%. The focus group discussions reported multiple sexual partnerships among both HIV negative and positive residents alike.                                                

Conclusion: Although prevention messages delivered during HBTC are accepted and appreciated in this community, their utilization is low in both HIV negative and positive individuals. Innovative strategies for change of normative beliefs about sexual behavior are urgently needed. 

Key Words:  Home based testing and counseling, Provision of prevention messages, Utilization of prevention messages, Behavior change

[Afr J Health Sci. 2017; 30(2):139-159]

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