244066 Factors associated with utilization of HIV testing services in Integrated Counseling and Testing Centers (ICTC) in India: How can behavior change communication increase use?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Nilesh Chatterjee, PhD, MA, MBBS , Bloomberg School of Public Health, JHUCCP (Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs), New Delhi, India
Sanjanthi Velu, Chief of Party, JHU CCP India , Center for Communication Programs, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, New Delhi, India
Basil Safi, Asia Division Chief , Center of Communication Programs, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Kimberly Rook , Center for Communication Programs, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Background: To assess baseline use of HIV testing services in Integrated Counseling and Testing Centers (ICTC), a survey was conducted in 22 of 35 districts in Maharashtra, India for the development of a demand generation campaign for ICTC Services.

Methods: Using a two-stage sampling design, 870 respondents 478 males and 392 females - 18-49 years living in rural (n=416) and urban (n=454) areas completed an interviewer-administered survey. Mean age of respondents was 27 years (Median 24); 92% attended school with 11 as median highest grade completed; average monthly household income of INR 6212 (Median INR 4000); 52.5% married; and 27% students, 5.5% unemployed, 17% housewives, 15% agricultural labor, 20% in business/self-employed. Mass Media and information, communication and technology (ICT) access was high.

Results: Only 9% (79) respondents ever used ICTC services although 59% (511) heard of them and 45% (389) knew government HIV testing /counseling services were free. Married respondents (P<.001), female (P<.01), those who attended school (p<.05), heard of HIV-testing (p<.01), were exposed to HIV-education print materials (p<.01), and perceived some personal risk of acquiring HIV (p<.01) were significantly more likely to use ICTC. No significant differences were found in age, religion, urban/rural residence, income, mass media and ICT access between users and non-users.

Conclusions: There is a significant gap between awareness and use of HIV testing services. Greater exposure to communication about HIV testing will have a positive effect on ICTC utilization; however, behavior change communication needs to address the usage gap and perceptions of personal risk.

Learning Areas:
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Communication and informatics
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Provision of health care to the public

Learning Objectives:
1. Define characteristics and attributes of users of ICTC services in a high HIV-prevalent state in India 2. Compare characteristics and attributes of users with non-users of services 3. Identify gaps in awareness and use of ICTC services 4. Determine areas to focus messages that generate demand for ICTC services

Keywords: HIV Interventions, Communication

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Served as the Regional Director for this project between 2009 - 2011.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.