, Volume 9, Issue 4, pp 475-484
Date: 27 Oct 2005

HIV Voluntary Counseling and Testing Service Preferences in a Rural Malawi Population

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Voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) services have become an integral component of HIV prevention efforts in sub-Saharan Africa. This study of a rural Malawi district population examined variation in past and desired use of VCT services among 868 women aged 15 to 34 and 648 men aged 20 to 44 aware of HIV/AIDS. Only 11% of men and 7% of women had been tested, but of those untested, 76% of men and 61% of women desired testing. Ninety percent of respondents willing to know their results preferred to hear them from a test site counselor and on the same day of the test. However, 27% of women wanting to be tested did not want to know their test results, a finding significantly associated with knowing someone affected by AIDS and perceiving oneself at HIV infection risk. Knowledge of the behaviors of HIV prevention, knowing someone with AIDS, knowing the locations of a test site, and perceived risk of HIV infection all had a consistently significant association with past and future VCT use for men and women.