HIV testing and risk perceptions: a qualitative analysis of secondary school students in Kampala, Uganda

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George Aluzimbi *
George Lubwama
Michael Muyonga
Wolfgang Hladik
(*) Corresponding Author:
George Aluzimbi |


The purpose of this paper is to explore the perceptions of self-reported HIV testing and risk behavior among sexually active adolescents and youth in secondary schools in Kampala Uganda. This was a cross-sectional survey conducted between June and October 2010 among secondary school students in Kampala, Uganda. Forty eight (48) students across the 54 schools were purposively selected for the qualitative sub-study based on their responses to particular questions. We thematically analyzed 28 interviews for our qualitative study using Nvivo software. Drug and alcohol use coupled with peers pressure impaired students’ perceptions towards HIV risk and therefore increased their susceptibility to HIV risk behaviors. Of the 28 scripts analyzed, 82% (23/28) had ever had sexual partners, 79% (22/28) were currently sexually active, and 57% (16/28) had ever been tested for HIV. In conclusion, most adolescents interviewed did not perceive HIV testing to be important to HIV prevention and reported low perception of susceptibility to HIV infection. Development of an adolescent HIV prevention model is important in improving uptake of HIV services.

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