oa Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection - The association between HIV testing and sexual behaviour amongst rural Zulu high school students in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa



This cross-sectional study investigated the prevalence of HIV testing amongst South African high school students, their perceptions about HIV testing, and the influence of HIV testing on their sexual behaviour. Grade 10 students at 28 high schools completed a questionnaire based on the I-Change Model. Of 1,192 students, 57 (4.8%) had been tested for HIV. More tested students knew a person with HIV/AIDS (p<0.005), knew other people who had been tested (p<0.005), perceived support from family (p<0.005) and friends (p=0.003), and reported self-efficacy and further intentions to be tested (p<0.005). HIV counselling and testing can promote prevention messages to reduce the prevalence of HIV infection amongst HIV-seronegative people, and decrease transmission amongst those HIV-seropositive. Early diagnosis and care can improve outcomes for HIV/AIDS. Encouraging HIV testing among school students may contribute to a reduction in HIV incidence and persuade students to reduce risky sexual behaviour.


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