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[pronut-hiv] Factors influencing acceptability of voluntary counseling in Tanzania

  • From: "ProNUT-HIV" <>
  • Date: Tue, 07 Jun 2005 11:18:44 -0400

Factors influencing acceptability of voluntary counseling and
HIV-testing among pregnant women in Northern Tanzania

1Institute for Nutrition Research, University of Oslo, Norway &
2Kilimanjaro Christian Medical College, Community Health Department,
Moshi, Tanzania

Abstract: Guided by the conceptual framework of the Health Belief Model,
this study aimed to identify factors associated with pregnant women's
expressed willingness to accept voluntary counseling and HIV-testing (VCT).
A cross-sectional interview survey of 500 pregnant women, complemented by
focus group discussions, was conducted in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania.
Constructs derived from the Health Belief Model explained 41.7% of
women's willingness to accept VCT. Perceived high personal
susceptibility to HIV/AIDS, barriers related to confidentiality and
partner involvement, self efficacy regarding alternative feeding methods
and religion were all shown to be associated with willingness to accept
VCT. The women's acceptance of VCT seems to depend upon their perceiving
that VCT and alternative feeding strategies provide clear benefits,
primarily for the child. Whether a positive attitude to VCT and
alternative feeding strategies are transformed into actual behaviour
depends on a set of complicated decisions in which several potential
psychological consequences are assessed. Sharing the diagnosis with
partners may not have the intended effect if there is a lack of
sensitivity to the women's fear of blame and rejection. If pregnant
women are to fully participate in and benefit from
mother-to-child-transmission prevention efforts, their partners must be
committed and involved in the process.