Predictors of non-uptake of human immunodeficiency virus testing by tuberculosis public primary patients in three districts, South Africa

SOURCE: Iranian Journal of Public Health
OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
TITLE AUTHOR(S): K.Peltzer, G.G.Mchunu, B.O.Tutshana, P.Naidoo, G.Matseke, J.Louw
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Capabilities (HSC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 7461
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/3221

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The acceptance of HIV testing among patients with tuberculosis (TB) is low in South Africa. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence, associated factors and reasons of non-uptake of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing by tuberculosis public primary care patients in three districts, South Africa. In May-October 2011, this cross-sectional survey was conducted amongst 4726 TB patients across 42 primary health care facilities in three districts in South Africa. All new TB and new retreatment patients (N=4726) were consecutively interviewed within one month of anti-tuberculosis treatment. The outcome was self-reported HIV testing after TB diagnosis, validated using clinic registers. Almost one in ten (9.6%) of the 4726 participants had not undergone HIV testing, with the most often offered explanation being that they were not knowing where to get tested (21.3%), followed by believing not to have or at risk for HIV (24.3%), emotional concerns (not ready for test: 13.2%; afraid to get to know: 12.1%; concerns over confidentiality: 6.3%) and concerns about stigma (3.3%) and losing the job (2.0%). In multivariable analysis being male, severe psychological distress, having sex with someone HIV negative or unknown and frequency of sex without a condom were associated with not having been tested for HIV. The level of HIV testing among TB public primary care patients was suboptimal, as per policy all patients should be tested. The South African Department of Health should continue to scale-up HIV testing and other collaborative TB-HIV services at health facilities.