Be the first to like this
Since 2003, the HIV Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) has been identified as one of the key strategies in the HIV/AIDS prevention, control and care programmes in Ghana. However, utilization of this service is low among Ghanaian youth. This study examined predictors associated with VCT utilization among youth in Ghana. This study utilized quantitative and qualitative data in a cross-sectional survey in three sub-metropolitan areas in Kumasi. Using a multi-variate regression, evidence from 120 respondents showed potential factors associated with VCT utilization. The qualitative data were subjected to a content analysis through direct quotes. The results suggest that less than 30% of the youth had ever tested for HIV through VC. Women were more likely to avail themselves for counselling testing than men. Psychological and emotional trauma experienced by the seropositive, lack of confidentiality, proximity to VCT sites, HIV-related stigma inter alia, were found to be strongly associated with HIV VCT in the study prefecture. VCT utilization among the youth in Ghana was low and affected by HIV/AIDS-related stigma and residence. In order to increase VCT acceptability, HIV/AIDS prevention and control programs in the country should focus on reducing HIV/AIDS-related stigma.