Barriers and facilitating factors to HIV testing: a survey of tertiary students.
Mkhize, Constance Ntombifuthi.
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Research estimates show that almost one in four of South Africa's university undergraduate student population is HIV positive. This study examined the factors that promote and inhibit the uptake of HIV testing among university students. The sample consisted of 602 multicultural students with 74.8% females and 25.2% male students. The current study showed that 48% of University students had an HIV test and 51 % had never been tested before. However, 60% of students claimed to know their status without having been tested for HIV and 40% did not know their status. Chi-square tests showed a significant relationship between inhibiting and promotive factors towards the decision to undertake and not to undertake an HIV test. In this study, we found that university students primarily get tested because they have been engaged in unprotected sex knew someone who died of AIDS and being advised by someone else. All of these reasons suggest reactive rather than proactive reasons to testing. The findings also indicated that students forego testing because they perceive themselves to be at low risk, have abstained, fear a positive result and they see no benefit in testing for HIV. Knowledge of status is the important tool towards the prevention of HIV.