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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Factors associated with willingness to participate in free HIV test among general residents in Heilongjiang, Northeast China

Lili Yuan1, Xin Li2, Xiaoxia Li3, Jingli Shi4, Liying Jiang2, Chundi Zhang5, Xiujing Yang6, Yeli Zhang7 and Yashuang Zhao2*

Author Affiliations

1 Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, Heilongjiang, China

2 Department of Epidemiology, Public Health College, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, Heilongjiang Province, China

3 Department of Public Health, Mudanjiang Medical College, Mudanjiang, Heilongjiang Province, China

4 Qiqihaer Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Qiqihaer, Heilongjiang Province, China

5 Qiqihaer Medical College, Qiqihaer, Heilongjiang Province, China

6 Clinical Laboratory, Third Affiliated Clinical Hospital of Qiqihaer Medical College, Qiqihaer, Heilongjiang Province, China

7 Disease Control Office, Health Department of Heilongjiang Province, Heilongjiang Province, China

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2012, 12:256  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-12-256

Published: 12 October 2012

Abstract

Background

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is spreading from high-risk groups, such as men who have sex with men (MSM) and sex workers, to the general population in China. This study examined the willingness of general residents in Heilongjiang, Northeast China, to participate in free HIV testing in the nearest health care setting, and the factors that may affect participation, including demographic characteristics, HIV-related knowledge, and stigma.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted in Heilongjiang Province. All residents aged 15–69 years in two communities in urban areas (September 2007) and four villages in rural areas (April 2008) were recruited using stratified cluster sampling. A total of 4050 residents were interviewed using an anonymous questionnaire. Univariate and multivariate log-binomial regression were used to analyze factors affecting willingness to undergo HIV testing.

Results

The proportions of participants who were willing to participate in free HIV testing was 73.0% in urban residents and 78.8% in rural residents. Multivariate regression analysis among urban participants showed that greater knowledge of HIV transmission misconceptions (relative risk (RR) = 1.02, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.00–1.04, P = 0.021) and the awareness that an apparently healthy person can be an HIV carrier (RR = 1.12, 95%CI: 1.03–1.21, P = 0.007) was significantly associated with greater willingness to participate in free HIV testing. Among rural participants, greater knowledge of HIV transmission modes (RR = 1.03, 95%CI: 1.01–1.06 P = 0.001) and the awareness that an apparently healthy person can be an HIV carrier (RR = 1.07; 95%CI: 1.01–1.13 P = 0.019) was significantly associated with greater willingness to participate.

Conclusions

The overall level of willingness to accept free HIV testing is high, and is higher in rural residents than in urban residents in Heilongjiang. knowledge of HIV transmission misconceptions and that an apparently healthy person can be a carrier for HIV were associated with willingness to accept free HIV testing among urban residents, while knowledge of HIV transmission modes and that an apparently healthy person can be a carrier for HIV were associated with willingness to accept free HIV testing among rural residents.

Keywords:
HIV; Knowledge; Public stigma; Willingness; General individuals