Ben Bepouka Izizag1, Hippolyte Situakibanza1, Tathy Mbutiwi2, Richard Ingwe3, Florian
Kiazayawoko4, Aliocha Nkodila1, Madone Mandina1, Murielle Longokolo1, Evelyne Amaela1,
Introduction: this paper examines the acceptability of HIV self-testing (HIVST) by students in a university in the DRC and identifies factors associated with uptake of HIVST.
Methods: a cross-sectional study was conducted with a sample of 290 students from Kikwit University. Data were summarized using proportions and predictions of acceptability of HIVST by logistic regression.
Results: the average age of students was 22.5 years, with the majority of the students being male (57%). Just over half the students sampled, reported being sexually active (51.8%). One hundred and sixty four (75%) reported that they had one sexual partner and fifty-six (25%) two or more sexual partners in the past year. Sixty-six percent had used condoms during their last sexual encounter. The acceptability of HIVST was high (81.4%) and 66.1% of students stated that they would confirm the self-test at a local health facility. The knowledge about the importance of the self-test (OR 5.02; 95% CI:1.33-18.88; p=0.017), the perception that counseling pre and post-test were important (OR 2.91; 95% CI:1.63-5.19; p < 0.0001) and the willingness to realize the test with a partner (OR 2.46; 95% CI:1.43-4.23; p=0.034) were factors
associated with HIVST.
Conclusion: the acceptability of HIVST was high and therefore its implementation is feasible in our country. However, prior to implementation, additional factors such as cost; access of HIVST; false reassurance of the test; missed early infections in the window period, limited counseling and linkage to care options, need to be considered.
Cite this: The Pan African Medical Journal. 2018;31:248.