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Uptake of provider-initiated testing and counselling (pitc) at the university of port harcourt teaching hospital (upth), port harcourt, Nigeria

Author: 
Paul Nsirimobu Ichendu and Ugwu Rosemary Ogochukwu
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Background: To increase HIV detection in countries with high HIV prevalence, UNAIDS/WHO/CDC recommends provider-initiated testing and counselling (PITC) strategy for HIV screening. The aim of this study was to assess the uptake of the PITC program, determine the HIV case finding among the population and the proportion of those who tested HIV positive that were enrolled into care and treatment. Method: All patients (aged 0-18years) who visited the children out-patient department of UPTH, who met the inclusion criteria and did not opt out were offered PITC for HIV after an initial screening with Bandason screening tool. Data was analysed and presented in prose, frequency tables and pie chart; chi square was used to compare categorical data while p value of < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. Results: Among the 5,697 children who were eligible for the study, 1,117 (19.6%) were screened out using Bandason screening tool while 4,558 (80.0%) accepted HIV testing. Of the 4558 participants who were tested for HIV,303 (6.65%) were found positive. All (100.0%) of those that tested positive were enrolled in care and treatment in the Paediatric HIV clinic of UPTH and other centres. Among the children who were HIV positive, majority 105 (34.65%) were aged 1-5years and this was statistically significant (X 2 =29.59, p=0.001). Conclusion: PITC uptake for HIV was highly acceptable and has a good case finding rate. All patients found to be positive were linked to care and treatment. Public health initiatives (such as the PITC strategy) that facilitate early detection of HIV and referral for early treatment should be encouraged for broader HIV control and prevention in Nigerian communities.

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