Factors associated with adherence to HIV testing guidelines among HIV negative female sex workers in Kampala Uganda
School of Nursing and Midwifery, East Africa
Background: Frequent HIV testing at intervals of every three to six months is recommended among HIV negative female sex workers as the first entry point to HIV prevention and treatment. In this study, we examined the extent to which HIV negative female sex workers adhere to the testing guidelines by measuring the frequency of testing in the last 12 months and identified associated factors among female sex workers in Kampala Uganda.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study using structured questionnaires. Using equal probability selection method, 12 hotspots were selected, and 200 participants interviewed based on proportional allocation in each hotspot. We used descriptive statistics to describe female sex workers’ characteristics, and multivariable logistic regression model to determine the factors associated with their adherence to the HIV testing guidelines. Adherence to the HIV testing guidelines was defined as having tested three or more times in the last 12 months. Factors with p-value ≤0.05 significance level were considered statistically significant.
Results: From the 200 study participants, 43% were aged 25-30 years, joined sex work between the ages of 18 to 24 years, 49% had attained primary and 41% secondary school respectively. 88% reported HIV testing status, of which 56% had tested three or more times in the 12 months preceding the survey. Attaining secondary education, was independently associated with adherence to the HIV testing guidelines (OR 1.86, 95% CI: 1.01 - 3.44, p=0.047). Those that had tested for STIs in the last three months (OR= 2.13, 95% CI: 0.95 - 4.74, p=0.065) and accessed HIV testing in a drop-in centre (OR= 5.90, 95% CI: 0.71 - 49.1, p=0.101) had higher odds of adhering to the HIV testing guidelines
Conclusion: This study found suboptimal adherence to the HIV testing guidelines among HIV negative female sex workers. Interventions such as HIV self-testing that improve access to, and frequency of HIV testing need to be taken to scale. There is need for rigorous behaviour change program evaluation to continually refine understanding of the message mix, to ensure simplified and easy to comprehend awareness messages are designed for female sex workers with no formal education.
(2022). Factors associated with adherence to HIV testing guidelines among HIV negative female sex workers in Kampala Uganda. medRxiv.
Available at: https://ecommons.aku.edu/eastafrica_fhs_sonam/393
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