• Journal Article

Correlates of HIV testing among South African women with high sexual and substance-use risk behaviours

Citation

Luseno, W., & Wechsberg, W. (2009). Correlates of HIV testing among South African women with high sexual and substance-use risk behaviours. AIDS Care, 21(2), 178-184. DOI: 10.1080/09540120802017594

Abstract

Despite its importance in raising awareness of HIV risk behaviour and in linking HIV-positive individuals to care and treatment, research findings indicate that the HIV antibody testing rate in the general South African population remains relatively low, although knowledge of HIV testing services is high. The identification of important correlates of testing behaviour can be used to improve HIV testing campaigns by refining messages that target individuals at highest risk for infection. This study uses data from an ongoing prevention intervention study in Pretoria, South Africa to identify factors that may have a greater influence on facilitating or hindering HIV testing among South African women who face a high risk for infection. The data for this study (n=425) are derived from the baseline interviews and HIV test results collected between June 2004 and January 2007. HIV testing for this study was significantly associated with education level, alcohol and cannabis use, sex trading, number of STI symptoms, physical abuse and number of visits to a clinic for medical treatment. Results suggest that more focused efforts need to be made to provide HIV testing to women who report substance use behaviour, experience violence and report high-risk sexual behaviour. Interventions also need to address denial of HIV infection and fear to test for HIV