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Investigating the acceptability of unsupervised/private HIV self-testing among young male students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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Globally only 84% of individuals knew that they were living with HIV by 2020 (UNIAIDS, 2021; WHO, 2021). Young people are a growing proportion of individuals living with HIV who do not know their status and there is a growing need for innovative HIV testing methods such as the HIV Self Test (HIVST). Unlike traditional testing methods, HIVST offers privacy for patients, low cost and thus it is a much-needed method to increase youth testing and knowledge of their HIV status. This study investigated the knowledge and acceptability of male student’s unsupervised HIVST at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The study utilized a cross-sectional quantitative methodology, and the theory of Planned behaviour guided the study analysis and discussions. This research study used numerous scales to measure participant’s attitudes towards HIVST, subjective norms and perceived behavioural control towards the HIVST. In this investigation, 99 male students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal were sampled using time location sampling. The findings of this study suggest that perceived behavioural control with (positive correlation of .289 with a p-value of .004 at an alpha level of .001) and attitude with (positive correlation of .310 with a P-value .002 at an Alpha level of .001) are the most influential factors for young male youth to use the HIVST. At the same time, the subjective norm is not statistically significant (negative correlation and P-value .067) in influencing the intention to use the HIVST. Younger males aged between 18-21 years were much less likely to test for HIV in general than older youth males above the age of 21 years, who were more likely to be tested or test for HIV in general.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.