Main Article Content
Background: Human Immunodeficiency virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is a significant source of socioeconomic and disease burden especially among the Sub-Saharan African population. Less than 10% of these people especially the adolescents are aware of their status with an associated risk of increasing the spread of HIV. Therefore, this study was undertaken to determine the effect of peer education and the provision of onsite HIV Counselling and Testing services on uptake of HCT and the factors influencing its up-take among public secondary school students.
Methods: This was a school-based quasi-experimental study conducted from January to June 2016. A multi-stage sampling technique was used to select 932 students attending public secondary schools in Ebonyi State and an intervention comprising peer education, and provision of onsite HCT services was administered in the intervention group. Data were collected using a pre-tested semi structured self-administered questionnaire and were analysed using IBM SPSS version 21. A p-value of ≤ 0.05 was considered significant.
Results: At baseline, 56 (12%) in the intervention group and 61(13.1%) in the control group had ever been screened for HIV. After the 3 months intervention period, uptake of HCT increased significantly in the intervention group by 61.6% and in the control group by 1.5%; P < 0.01. Logistic regression revealed that being female, sexual exposure and condom use were predictors of HCT uptake.
Conclusion and Recommendation: Peer health education and the provision of onsite HCT services significantly improved the uptake of HCT among secondary school students. Therefore, integrating peer health education into school health programmes and improving access to HCT services would be an effective strategy for increasing up-take of HCT among young people.