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Reprod Health. 2013 Mar 28;10:17. doi: 10.1186/1742-4755-10-17.

HIV/AIDS knowledge and uptake of HIV counselling and testing among undergraduate private university students in Accra, Ghana.

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Department of Human Development and Psychology, Regent University College of Science and Technology, P, O, Box DS 1636, Dansoman, Accra, Ghana.



HIV Counselling and Testing (VCT) and knowledge about HIV are some key strategies in the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS in Ghana. However, HIV knowledge and utilization of VCT services among university students is low. The main objective was to determine the level of HIV/AIDS knowledge and to explore factors associated with the use HIV counselling and testing among private university students in Accra, Ghana.


A cross-sectional study was conducted using structured questionnaires among 324 conveniently selected students enrolled at a privately owned tertiary institution in Accra, Ghana.


The respondents consisted of 56.2% males and 43.8% females aged 17 - 37 years. The mean HIV/AIDS knowledge score of was 7.70. There was a significant difference in knowledge of HIV/AIDS by gender where female students had more knowledge about HIV/AIDS than males [t (322) = 2.40, p = 0.017]. The ANOVA results showed that there was a significant difference in HIV/AIDS knowledge according to the age groups [F (3, 321) = 6.26, p = 0. 0001] and marital status [F (3, 321) = 4.86, p = 0. 008] of the sample. Over half of the participants had not tested for HIV, although over 95% of them knew where to access counseling and testing services. The study also revealed a significant association between demographic variables, testing for HIV and intention to test in the future. Participants who were never married (single), aged 17 - 20 years and had knowledge of two routes of HIV transmission were more likely to have taken an HIV test. Males were more likely to take an HIV test in the future than females. Majority of the students receive HIV/AIDS information from both print and electronic media, but few of them received such information from parents.


The students HIV knowledge was very good, yet HIV testing were low. Health education and HIV intervention programmes must not only provide accurate information, but must be made to help to equip private university students, especially females to test for HIV consistently.

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