Background: The growing menace created by the HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) has alarmed not only the public health officials but also the general community. The Voluntary Counseling and Testing Centre (VCTC) services have begun as a cost-effective intervention in reversing this epidemic. Objectives: 1) To study the sociodemographic characteristics of HIV-positive clients and their risk behaviors. 2) To elucidate the reasons for their visit to the VCTC and know the problems anticipated by the clients after revealing their HIV-positive status. Study Design: A cross-sectional record-based study. Materials and Methods: The study was conducted in August 2007 among clients who tested positive for HIV in the VCTC of a district hospital in Karnataka from January to July 2007. Results: Study included 249 individuals of whom 161 were males and rest 88 females. A high percentage of nonresponse regarding the pattern of risk behavior was noted among the subjects (males: 42.8% and females: 90.9%). Of the individuals who responded, 91 males (98.9%) and 6 females (75.0%) had multiple heterosexual sex partners, while 1 male had homosexual partner. The figures in females show that two (25%) of them had a history of blood transfusion. The reason for visiting the VCTC were cited as some form of illness (33.3%), confirmation of test results (32.9%), family members diagnosed as HIV positive (12.9%) and 11.6% were referred from Directly Observed Treatment Scheme (DOTS) center. More than one-thirds of the sample population anticipated discrimination at the time of medical treatment. Conclusion: People have begun using VCTC services, which reflects a change in their attitude toward HIV. The study provides us a clue to formulate an effective approach to educate people as well as the health personnel who are thought of as one of the important sources of discrimination.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health