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Prevalence, associated factors and perspectives of HIV testing among men in Uganda

, Anne R. Katahoire, Mari Armstrong-Hough, Jane Kabami, Gloria Odei Obeng-Amoako, Mercy Muwema, Fred C. Semitala, Charles A. Karamagi, Rhoda K. Wanyenze, Moses R. Kamya,
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Published: 7 August 2020

Abstract: Despite overall increase in HIV testing, more men than women remain untested. In 2018, 92% of Ugandan women but only 67% of men had tested for HIV. Understanding men’s needs and concerns for testing could guide delivery of HIV testing services (HTS) to them. We assessed the prevalence of testing, associated factors and men’s perspectives on HIV testing in urban and peri-urban communities in Central Uganda. We conducted a parallel-convergent mixed-methods study among men in Kampala and Mpigi districts from August to September 2018. Using two-stage sampling, we selected 1340 men from Mpigi. We administered a structured questionnaire to collect data on HIV testing history, socio-demographics, self-reported HIV risk-related behaviors, barriers and facilitators to HIV testing. We also conducted 10 focus-groups with men from both districts to learn their perspectives on HIV testing. We used modified Poisson regression to assess factors associated with HIV testing and inductive thematic analysis to identify barriers and facilitators. Though 84.0% of men reported having tested for HIV, only 65.7% had tested in the past 12-months despite nearly all (96.7%) engaging in at least one HIV risk-related behavior. Men were more likely to have tested if aged 25–49 years, Catholic, with secondary or higher education and circumcised. Being married was associated with ever-testing while being widowed or divorced was associated with testing in past 12-months. Men who engaged in HIV risk-related behavior were less likely to have tested in the past 12-months. Qualitative findings showed that men varied in their perspectives about the need for testing, access to HTS and were uncertain of HIV testing and its outcomes. Recent HIV testing among men remains low. Modifying testing strategies to attract men in all age groups could improve testing uptake, reduce gender disparity and initiate risk reduction interventions.
Keywords: Virus testing / HIV / HIV prevention / HIV epidemiology / Circumcision / Qualitative studies / Health care facilities / Religion

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