Voluntary counseling and testing is important in controlling the spread of HIV, especially among adolescents. The aim is to describe the perceptions of adolescents of the best options to providing voluntary counseling and testing services to them in Rakai District Uganda.
A cross-sectional descriptive study was carried out among male and female adolescents of 15 to 24 years who were selected by convenience sampling, using qualitative methods of data collection, focus group discussions, observations and in-depth/key informant interviews.
Factors affecting utilization of VCT services by the adolescents include distance to the service centers, fears after testing, lack of spouse guidance, stigma attached to the VCT rooms, quality of services being provided and peer pressures.
Their knowledge on the availability of VCT services in the community is adequate. The information is passed over to them through radio, media prints, health talks, relatives and friends.
Providing VCT services through the mobile clinics and outreaches are much preferred by adolescent mothers to the formal structural arrangement of buildings. The traditional healers and drug shop owners could be potential providers of VCT.
Dialogue should be started with the various stakeholders in providing VCT services to the adolescents in the district on the possibilities of establishing mobile service clinics and integrating the informal service providers as potential providers of the service.
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