Background Low uptake of HIV testing services (HCT) in healthcare settings was reported by a study carried out in the South-south region of Nigeria. High acceptability of home based HCT has been reported in a previous study in South Africa. Home based testing also increased uptake of screening for HIV and syphilis among previously untested individuals in Brazil.
Methods A cross sectional descriptive study was carried out among out-of-school youths in two rural communities in southwest Nigeria. The aim of the study was to determine the prevalence of HIV testing and the preferred venue for the tests. Multistage sampling method was used to select 360 respondents in each of the communities. Information was collected by trained interviewer’s using a pretested questionnaire. Data was analysed using Epi info statistical software version 3.6.3 and IBM SPSS version 20. Bivariate and multivariate analysis was carried out at p < 0.05.
Results Mean age of respondents was 19.85 ± 2.71, majority were males (55.0%) and had at least secondary school education (66.7%). Most (86.5%) had heard of HCT, the commonest source of information being TV/Radio (49.0%), Health worker (14.2%), friends/family members (12.3%). Only 14.6% had been tested for HIV. Among this group, 8.3% were tested for medical reasons and 6.3% tested voluntarily. Testing was conducted at the health facility and laboratories in 11.3% out of the 14.6% of respondents that had been tested. Youths who had at least a secondary school education and use condoms were more likely to have been tested. Majority (78.0%) were willing to be tested among this group, more than a third (36.8%) will prefer to be tested within the community (workplace, school, home or mobile outreach).
Conclusion Rural youths in this study are willing to be tested for HIV. Provision of this service within the community will improve access and uptake.
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