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Open Access Research article

Intention to voluntary HIV counseling and testing (VCT) among health professionals in Jimma zone, Ethiopia: the theory of planned behavior (TPB) perspective

Fira Abamecha1, Ameyu Godesso2 and Eshetu Girma3*

Author Affiliations

1 College of Health Sciences, Mizan-Tepi University, Mizan, Ethiopia

2 Department of Sociology, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia

3 Department of Health Education and Behavioral Sciences, Jimma University, Jimma, Ethiopia

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:140  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-140

Published: 15 February 2013

Abstract

Background

Voluntary HIV Counseling and Testing (VCT) forms one of the cornerstones of HIV prevention strategies. It is imperative to understand HIV testing correlates and their theoretical underpinnings in order to promote VCT uptake. The aim of this study was to predict the intention to VCT and associated factors among health professionals in Jimma zone, Ethiopia using the theory of planned behavior.

Methods

An institution based cross-sectional quantitative study among a sample of 336 health professionals in 12 selected districts of Jimma, Ethiopia was conducted in 2012. The constructs and principles of the theory of planned behavior (TPB) were measured. Data were collected using structured questionnaire on self administered basis. A multivariable linear regression model was used to predict the role of independent variables/TPB constructs on the intention to use VCT using SPSS version 16.0.

Results

The components of TPB independently explained the variance in intention to VCT by 30.3%. Both components of TPB and socio-demographic characteristic in the final model explained 32.7% of variance in the intention to use VCT services. Significant proportions (33.0%) of the respondents have never been tested for HIV. The respective indirect components of the TPB predicted the direct components. The strongest predictors of intention to VCT were subjective norm (β=0.39, p<0.001) and attitude (β= 0.19, p<0.001) whereas, none of the socio-demographic variables were significantly predicted the intention to use VCT. Past VCT experience did not have significant statistical association with VCT use intention.

Conclusions

Behavioral intention to use VCT was a function of attitude and perceived social pressure. Demographic related social determinants were not barriers for VCT use intention. Most health workers test their blood by themselves. Strategies to empower health professionals on social pressure resistance and programs targeted at changing negative attitude on VCT use can enhance intention of health professionals to use VCT.

Keywords:
HIV/AIDS; VCT; HCT; Health professionals; Intention; TPB; Jimma zone; Ethiopia