Correlates of previous couples’ HIV counseling and testing uptake among married individuals in three HIV prevalence strata in Rakai, Uganda
Matovu, Joseph K. B.
Wanyenze, Rhoda K.
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Background: Studies show that uptake of couples’ HIV counseling and testing (couples’ HCT) can be affected by individual, relationship, and socioeconomic factors. However, while couples’ HCT uptake can also be affected by background HIV prevalence and awareness of the existence of couples’ HCT services, this is yet to be documented. We explored the correlates of previous couples’ HCT uptake among married individuals in a rural Ugandan district with differing HIV prevalence levels. Design: This was a cross-sectional study conducted among 2,135 married individuals resident in the three HIV prevalence strata (low HIV prevalence: 9.7_11.2%; middle HIV prevalence: 11.4_16.4%; and high HIV prevalence: 20.5_43%) in Rakai district, southwestern Uganda, between November 2013 and February 2014. Data were collected on sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics, including previous receipt of couples’ HCT. HIV testing data were obtained from the Rakai Community Cohort Study. We conducted multivariable logistic regression analysis to identify correlates that are independently associated with previous receipt of couples’ HCT. Data analysis was conducted using STATA (statistical software, version 11.2). Results: Of the 2,135 married individuals enrolled, the majority (n_1,783, 83.5%) had been married for five or more years while (n_1,460, 66%) were in the first-order of marriage. Ever receipt of HCT was almost universal (n_2,020, 95%); of those ever tested, (n_846, 41.9%) reported that they had ever received couples’ HCT. There was no significant difference in previous receipt of couples’ HCT between low (n_309, 43.9%), middle (n_295, 41.7%), and high (n_242, 39.7%) HIV prevalence settings (p_0.61). Marital order was not significantly associated with previous receipt of couples’ HCT. However, marital duration [five or more years vis-a`-vis 1_2 years: adjusted odds ratio (aOR): 1.06; 95% confidence interval (95% CI): 1.04_1.08] and awareness about the existence of couples’ HCT services within the Rakai community cohort (aOR: 7.58; 95% CI: 5.63_10.20) were significantly associated with previous receipt of couples’ HCT. Conclusions: Previous couples’ HCT uptake did not significantly differ by HIV prevalence setting. Longer marital duration and awareness of the existence of couples’ HCT services in the community were significantly correlated with previous receipt of couples’ HCT. These findings suggest a need for innovative demand_creation interventions to raise awareness about couples’ HCT service availability to improve couples’ HCTuptake among married individuals.
- School of Medicine