Factors associated with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) testing and counseling among couples, Bulawayo city, 2015
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Background: Majority of people in stable relationships are not aware of their HIV status. Bulawayo City HTC data showed a decline in the proportion of urban couples who were tested for HIV from 11% in 2010 to 6.7% in 2014.The study was conducted to determine factors associated with HTC among couples in Bulawayo City. Methods: A one to one unmatched case control study was conducted. A total of 254 women, 127 cases and 127 controls, were recruited. A case was a woman aged 16-35 years who did not receive HTC with her partner. A control was a woman aged 16-35 who had received HTC with her partner. A pretested interviewer administered questionnaire was used to collect data from conveniently selected participants. Bivariate and logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify effect modification and control for confounding. Results: Staying within a distance of less than 5 km from the health the health facility (AOR=0. 38, 95% CI: 0.21-0.71) and prior discussion of HTC as a couple (AOR=0. 43, 95% CI: 0.21-0.87) were independently associated with more likelihood of receiving HTC as a couple. Conflicting work schedules (AOR=2.99, 95% CI: 1.17-5.11) and perceived low risk (AOR=1.78, 95% CI: 1.02-3.10) were found to be independent risk factors for not receiving HTC as a couple. Conclusion: Testing as a couple was as a result of factors relating to distance of less than 5 km from the health facility, prior discussion of HTC as a couple, low risk perception and conflicting work schedules. Encouraging communication among couples and health education may improve HTC among couples.