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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 29  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 504-510

Human immunodeficiency virus self-testing: Perspectives from primary healthcare workers in Enugu state, southeast Nigeria

1 Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency ESPHCDA; Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Medicine, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching, Ituku/Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria
3 Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency ESPHCDA, Enugu; Department of Community Medicine, Alex Ekwueme Federal University Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria
4 Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency ESPHCDA, Enugu, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Casmir N. Ochie
Department of Community Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching, Ituku, Ozalla, Enugu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/NJM.NJM_128_20

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Background: Stigmatization remains an intractable issue surrounding human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) management. Testing services are the gateway to treatment and prevention. HIV-self testing (HIVST) is a panacea to this stigmatization. It is a simple friendly testing technique. This study assessed issues surrounding the HIVST from the perspectives of the primary health-care workers in Enugu State. Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out using a semi-structured interviewer-administered questionnaire. A convenience sampling of 238 respondents were sampled from the 17 local government areas of the state. Analyses were performed using IBM-SPSS version 23. Ethical approval was obtained from the Enugu State Ministry of Health. Results: The majority of the respondents were within the age of 31–50 years 84 (35.3%), predominantly females 203 (85.3%) and mainly married 191 (80.3%). Half of them had practiced for over 10 years and 145 (60.9%) had good knowledge of HIV screening. However, 23.9% understood HIVST as a testing modality approved by the World Health Organization. A handful of them, 25 (10.5%) correctly identified the 5Cs of HIV testing. Only 162 (68.1%) of the health-care workers reported stigma as the most perceived problems of the present testing modality and 146 (61.3%) expressed a preference for HIVST over previous methods. Age was found to be a determinant of good knowledge of HIVST, as being within the age group of 20–40 years has a 1.83 greater odds of good knowledge of HIVST than, 41–60 years age group (Adjusted odds ratios = 1.830; 95% confidence interval 1.081–3.099). Conclusion: Most of the Primary health-care workers in Enugu State had poor knowledge of HIVST. These workers could benefit from awareness creation and training on HIVST by public health specialists to improve their knowledge.

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