PREVALENCE OF VOLUNTARY COUNSELING AND TESTING SERVICE UTILIZATION AND ITS ASSOCIATED FACTORS AMONG PREPARATORY SCHOOL STUDENTS IN GONDAR TOWN, AMHARA REGION, ETHIOPIA
Keywords:Adolescents, Youth, Voluntary counseling and testing, Gondar town and Ethiopia
Objectives: The objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) services utilization and associated factors among preparatory school students in Gondar town, Amhara region, Ethiopia.
Methods: Institutional based cross-sectional study design was employed. Multistage sampling procedure was conducted. Data were collected using pre-tested self-administered questionnaire and the data were entered, clean, and analyzed using SPSS software. Descriptive, bivariate, and multivariate analysis were employed. Multivariate analysis with 95% CI was computed to identify factors associated with VCT service utilization at p<0.05.
Results: The study included a total of 654 study participants, with a response rate of 97%. According to the research, 48.3% of adolescents used VCT services (95% CI: 44.5–52.1). The results of multivariate analysis revealed that age, site of birth, mother education, and discussion with parents were all substantially associated with the use of VCT services.
Conclusions: The majority of those who took part in the survey did not use VCT services. Only a small percentage of respondents have ever taken a VCT test and discussed it with their parents. The primary barrier for adolescents in the study area was cultural taboos, which they did not discuss with their parents. As a result, it will take an endless amount of effort from all relevant parties to promote teenage service use, as well as family life education, to encourage students and parents to use VCT.
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