Students' perceptions of voluntary counselling and testing : a case study of the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
Njagi, Fredrick Gachie.
MetadataShow full item record
This exploratory study investigates the factors that facilitate or inhibit the uptake of voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) among students aged 18-24 at the Howard College campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal. It also examines the sexual behaviour of the students in order to determine if, and to what they are at risk of HIV infection. The study used a self-completed survey questionnaire to elicit participants' responses. On one hand, the key factors that were found to motivate the students to undergo VCT include: the desire to know one's HIV status, peer influence, future planning and commitment to long-term relationships. On the other hand, factors that inhibit VCT uptake among students include lack of awareness, low risk perception, stigma, fear of an HIV positive test result, lack of confidentiality, long waiting period to secure an appointment, and perceived lack of benefits of counselling . The study also established that among the sexually active students, some engage in risky sexual behaviour such as involvement with multiple sexual partners and inconsistent condom use. In the light of the findings, the study recommends measures that would be taken to improve VCT uptake amongst students, and contribute in curbing the spread of HIV.