International Journal of Health & Allied Sciences

ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year
: 2013  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 108--114

Stigma and underutilization of facility-based sexually transmitted infection services undermine human immunodeficiency virus testing in rural communities of Rivers State, Nigeria


Charles I Tobin-West1, Ayebatari M Lawson2 
1 Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt, Nigeria
2 Community Medicine Department, University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Charles I Tobin-West
Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, University of Port Harcourt, Choba, Port Harcourt
Nigeria

Context: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing is a critical step in limiting the spread of the virus and ensuring access to prevention, treatment, care and support. Aims: The study examines the consequences of stigma and underutilization of facility-based sexually transmitted infection (STI) services on the uptake of HIV testing in rural communities of Rivers State, Nigeria, in other to provide information necessary to address the problem. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted between the 1 st and 30 th July 2011 among men and women of reproductive age living in rural communities of Rivers State, Nigeria, using a multistage sampling technique. Data were analyzed using the Epi-info version 6.04d, with confidence limit set at 95%. Results: A total of 596 participants: 270 men (45.3%) and 326 women (54.7%) were interviewed. Their mean age was 26.59 ± 7.77 years. Only 226 (37.9%) of them had ever tested for HIV. Most had stigmatizing attitudes towards HIV positive persons, 164 (71.6%) and had not tested for HIV (χ2 = 8.85, df = 1, P = 0.003). Of those who reported STIs, only 45.7% received treatment from a health facility, against 188 (54.3%) who did not. Consequently, only 90 (67.2%) of them were tested for HIV compared to 44 (32.8%) who received treatment from informal care providers (χ2 = 8.41, df = 1, P = 0.000). Conclusions: Stigma and low patronage of facility-based STI services undermine HIV testing. Anti-HIV campaigns must be consciously designed to prevent and correct stigmatization, emphasize the relationship between HIV and STIs and the significance of seeking appropriate care from health facilities.


How to cite this article:
Tobin-West CI, Lawson AM. Stigma and underutilization of facility-based sexually transmitted infection services undermine human immunodeficiency virus testing in rural communities of Rivers State, Nigeria.Int J Health Allied Sci 2013;2:108-114


How to cite this URL:
Tobin-West CI, Lawson AM. Stigma and underutilization of facility-based sexually transmitted infection services undermine human immunodeficiency virus testing in rural communities of Rivers State, Nigeria. Int J Health Allied Sci [serial online] 2013 [cited 2020 Feb 23 ];2:108-114
Available from: http://www.ijhas.in/article.asp?issn=2278-344X;year=2013;volume=2;issue=2;spage=108;epage=114;aulast=Tobin-West;type=0