Determining Preferences Related to HIV Counselling and Testing Services Among High School Learners in KwaZulu-Natal: A Discrete Choice Experiment
A key strategy of the South African national response to HIV is the scale-up of HIV counselling and testing (HCT) in the 15-49 years age group. The integrated school health policy aims to guide the roll out of youth-friendly health services including the provision of HCT in schools. Using a discrete choice experiment to examine preferences regarding the attributes of HCT service packages, this study identifies barriers to and facilitators of HCT among high school learners. Monetary considerations were found to have the strongest effect of any attribute on choice, whilst confidentiality was found to be a primary concern for learners considering HCT. Policy makers and service providers must ensure that confidentiality is maintained, and could consider using monetary incentives as a way of increasing uptake of HCT. Programmes designed to reduce social stigma and improve education and knowledge dissemination around HCT and HIV, are vital in creating demand for HCT and changing attitudes among young people.