Research

Ever and repeat HIV testing rates among male and female clients: Findings from a reproductive health services integration project in South Africa

C Milford, M E Beksinska, Z Mabude, J A Smit

Abstract


Background. HIV testing rates have increased in recent years. Repeat testing is recommended to identify and treat new HIV infections timeously. However, there are limited data on repeat HIV testing, especially in South Africa (SA).

Objectives. To provide data on repeat HIV testing rates in males and females in a district in SA.

Methods. A sexual and reproductive health (SRH) service integration model was implemented in seven healthcare facilities in eThekwini District, KwaZulu-Natal Province, SA, between 2009 and 2011. HIV testing data were collected from male and female clients attending these facilities, prior to (baseline) and after the implementation (endline) of the 3-year health services integration intervention.

Results. There were 230 clients at baseline (195 female, 35 male) and 200 at endline (169 female, 31 male). High ever-tested rates were reported at baseline (females 95.4%, males 74.3%) and endline (females 91.7%, males 87.1%), with large increases in male testing rates over time. In addition, high increases were seen between baseline and endline among those who had tested more than once and more than twice in their lifetime. Increases between baseline and endline testing rates were highest in HIV testing services (HTS) (37.0 - 93.3% for clients who had tested more than once, and 11.1 - 53.3% for those who had tested more than twice).

Conclusions. HIV testing and repeat testing increased over time, especially in males and in HTS. Promotion and integration of SRH services are critical to facilitate improved health-seeking behaviour and HIV testing of both male and female clients. They are also important for continued access to HTS at multiple service delivery points.


Authors' affiliations

C Milford, MRU (MatCH Research Unit), Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Durban, South Africa

M E Beksinska, MRU (MatCH Research Unit), Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Durban, South Africa

Z Mabude, MRU (MatCH Research Unit), Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Durban, South Africa

J A Smit, MRU (MatCH Research Unit), Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Durban, South Africa

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Keywords

HIV testing; Repeat testing; Sexual and reproductive health service integration; South Africa

Cite this article

South African Medical Journal 2020;110(6):514-518. DOI:10.7196/SAMJ.2020.v110i6.14422

Article History

Date submitted: 2020-05-29
Date published: 2020-05-29

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