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Background: HIV testing services (HTS) act as a critical entry point to HIV care, treatment and prevention services, and offer the opportunity for specially-trained health care providers to encourage avoidance of high risk sexual behaviour among both HIV negative and HIV-positive individuals. However, there are some challenges that can hinder effective delivery of HIV Counseling and Testing services by health care providers. This study was therefore designed to investigate barriers to effective HIV testing services and strategies for its promotion at the primary health care facilities in Ibadan.
Methods: This descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out among health care providers in primary health care facilities in five local government areas in Ibadan metropolis, Nigeria. A 4-stage sampling techniques was used to select 19 respondents and interviewed using key informant interview guide. Interviews were transcribed verbatim. Spot check of transcripts were conducted to ensure completeness of the transcription. The data were sorted, categorized, and analyzed using a qualitative data analysis computer software package (NVivo).
Results: All the respondents interviewed reported that, there were pre and post-tests counseling including HIV testing services in their facilities. Some respondents added there were laboratory services and linkages to other care and support services for those tested positive to HIV. However, most of the respondents reported insufficient consumables, insufficient staff, no privacy, lack of infrastructures as barriers to effective HIV testing services. Many of the respondents recommended community sensitization, more provision for consumables, drugs and kits as strategies for promoting HIV testing services.
Conclusion: This study revealed that the primary health centres have pre-test and post-test HIV counseling services but insufficient consumables and staff were the major barriers to HIV testing services in this study. It is therefore necessary for government to make provision for consumables and more personnel to boost the activities of the health facilities.
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