Science Journal of Medicine and Clinical Trials

November 2013,Volume 2013, ISSN: 2276-7487

Author(s) 2013. This work is distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Research Article


Perceptions about Repeat Hiv Testing in an Incidence Study: A Qualitative Study Among a Potential Cohort for Hiv Vaccine Trials in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania

Deodatus C.V. Kakoko*1, Edith A.M Tarimo2
Joel M Francis3, Patricia Munseri4, Muhammad Bakari4 ,Eric Sandstorm5

1Department of Behavioural Sciences, School of Public Health and Social Sciences, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences.
2Department of Nursing Management, School of Nursing, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences.
3National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR)
4Department of Internal Medicine, School of Medicine, Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences.
5Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.

Accepted 19 November, 2013; Available Online 27 November, 2013

doi: 10.7237/sjmct/155


Background: Information regarding repeat HIV testing is useful in the conduct of HIV vaccine trials as potential trial participants are required to undergo repeat HIV testing. In an incidence study conducted in 2008 among 1042 Police Officers 30% of them did not participate in a repeat HIV test. This study was therefore conducted to explore perceptions on repeat HIV testing among members of the incidence study cohort that also served as a source of volunteers for subsequent HIV vaccine trials.
Methods: This qualitative cross-sectional study was conducted in Dar es Salaam. The study included male and female Police Officers who were eligible to participate in the HIV incidence study. Participants were selected purposefully from eight Police stations out of the 32 stations. Data was collected using in-depth interviews and analysed qualitatively using the content analysis approach. Results: A majority of participants were willing to undergo a repeat HIV test and stated that it was important to repeat an HIV test to confirm their health status, and hence continue protecting themselves. Participants who participated in a repeat HIV test as a part of incidence study reported that the repeat HIV testing process was acceptable because counselling was provided, testing was voluntary, there was trust in the health care providers and a freedom to choose where to test. Participants who did not repeat the HIV test held that repeat a HIV test was not necessary since they believed that the initial test was adequate. Others said that communication breakdown was the main cause as they weren't aware of the importance of a repeat HIV test. Fear of the test results was also mentioned as one of the reasons. The participants were eager to gain more knowledge about the importance of a repeat HIV test.
Conclusion: In order to facilitate repeat HIV testing in potential cohorts for HIV vaccine trials, more information and education regarding the repeat HIV test is needed. It is also important to make sure that researchers are well informed on what study participants are supposed to know.

Keyword: Retest, Police Officers, HIV/AIDS, Tanzania