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Afr J Med Med Sci. 2004 Jun;33(2):165-70.

Characteristics of volunteers and non-volunteers for voluntary counseling and HIV testing among unmarried male undergraduates.

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Department of Community Medicine, College of Medicine, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Nigeria.


The 2001 HIV sero-prevalence survey in Nigeria revealed a rate of 5.8 percent with those under the age of 25 years having the highest prevalence rate. Most University students fall within this age group. This study is part of a larger study on the sexual behavior of youths and young adults and was designed to compare the characteristics of volunteers and non-volunteers for voluntary confidential counseling and HIV testing (VCT) among males. Six hundred and nine male undergraduate students were randomly selected and enrolled for the study. Data were collected using a pre-tested questionnaire. Of the 609, 51 (8.3%) volunteered to have their blood screened for HIV. All volunteers who received pre-test counseling went for the HIV test. Volunteers were significantly older than the non-volunteers (P<0.0001), and were more likely to be sexually experienced (P=0.002). Among the sexually experienced, the volunteers were older at first sexual intercourse (FSI) (P<0.0001), and were more likely to have used a condom at FSI (P=0.001). Volunteers had significantly higher knowledge scores for HIV/AIDS (P=0.006), and the attitude to HIV/AIDS in both groups was positive. The marriage pattern of their parents with regard to polygyny was similar, and fewer volunteers had fathers in the higher socio-economic class and mothers who had completed secondary education (P<0.00001, (P=0.02). Among the 51 volunteers, 8 (15.7%) tested positive. Those who tested positive were less likely to have lived with parents, and were all sexually experienced. Those who screened positive were also more likely to be currently sexually active and to have fathers with low level of education. Three (5.9%) of volunteers did not return for results and posttest counseling. One of the three was positive for HIV. Of those who tested positive, 3 (37.5%) reported not using the condom at all, while the rest were using it only occasionally. VCT among the youths is possible however, small numbers encountered in the study is a limitation and there is a need to replicate this study using larger numbers. Tertiary institutions should provide VCT services for the students where they can be counseled appropriately and continuously throughout their stay in the institution. This hopefully will reduce the number of new HIV cases seen.

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