HIV counselling and testing utilisation and attitudes of male inmates in a South African prison
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The Department of Correctional Services Policy on the management of HIV and AIDS for offenders include voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) for HIV as one of the priorities in the rehabilitation of inmates. The aim of this study was to determine factors associated with the utilisation of VCT services in the correctional centres in terms of level of satisfaction, their experiences and expectations, and motivating factors and barriers for VCT utilisation at Losperfontein Correctional Centre, South Africa. This was a case control study (cases being those who underwent testing and controls those who did not) examining predictors of HIV VCT utilisation among 200 male adult sentenced inmates serving medium and maximum sentences. Results indicate that a poor health system (OR=0.34, 95%CI: 0.23 - 0.50) was inversely associated with HIV testing acceptance in prison, while age, educational level, population group, marital status, length of incarceration and access to HIV testing in prison were not associated with HIV testing acceptance in prison. Half of the participants (50%) agreed that VCT services are accessible and are promoted at their correctional centre. Most were satisfied with different components of VCT services, ranging from 79% (fair to very good) for 'the way he/she received you' to 62% 'clarified all your concerns'. This study demonstrated some challenges and benefits to the field of health promotion and HIV prevention in the correctional centres especially with regard to VCT services.
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