Why are People Getting Tested? Self-Reported Reasons for Seeking Voluntary Counseling and Testing at a Clinic in Chennai, India
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VCT has been shown to be an important HIV risk reduction strategy; however, little is known about who attends VCT or why people seek VCT. A retrospective analysis was performed on charts of 6330 clients who attended VCT between 1994 and 2002 at Y.R. Gaitonde Centre for AIDS Research and Education, a non-governmental organization in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Most clients reported more than one reason for attending VCT, and the most commonly reported reasons were risk behavior, having symptoms, having a current HIV-positive partner, and reconfirming a previous positive HIV test. Reasons varied by gender and over time, and the likelihood of testing positive for HIV varied by reason reported. Understanding why people seek VCT informs an understanding of knowledge and attitudes about HIV and HIV testing, which has implications for the development of education, outreach and other HIV prevention services.
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