Couple’s desire for HIV testing and counseling and its association with women’s empowerment in Kenya

Li Liu, Johns Hopkins University
Michelle J. Hindin, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Stan Becker, Johns Hopkins University

Extensive literature has documented the level of desire for HIV testing and counseling (HTC) and its determinants at the individual level; however, few studies have considered the determinants at the couple level. Considering majority of the HIV infections occur among discordant couples in sub-Saharan Africa and the cost-effectiveness of couple-oriented HTC, failure to better understand couple’s desire for HTC is a missed opportunity. This paper aims to bridge this gap using the 2003 Kenya Demographic and Health Survey. Descriptive, logistic and multinomial logistic regressions were applied. Among 980 couples analyzed, 50% were couples with both members desiring HTC, 18% with only women and 17% with only men desiring, whereas 16% with neither desiring. Couple communication on HIV prevention, joint decision making reported by women and physical violence were positively associated with both desiring HTC. The mechanisms of the significant factors and research and policy implications were discussed at the end.

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Presented in Poster Session 2