Voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) is an important component of the human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) prevention and control interventions. The services in Ethiopia are available in government and non-government health facilities. However, very little is known about the profile and HIV prevalence among VCT clients. In fact, any attempt to analyze the epidemiology of HIV in Ethiopia is limited by the lack of sufficient longitudinal, cross-sectional and behavioral data. A retrospective cross-sectional study was employed to determine the socio-demographic profiles and prevalence of HIV among VCT clients. Data were taken from VCT clients’ records in Finote Selam Hospital. The quantitative data were entered using Microsoft excel and analyzed with SPSS 15.0 windows evaluation version. The International Training and Education Center for Health (I-TECH) and the woreda HIV/AIDS prevention and control offices are the only interventions. The prevalence of HIV among VCT clients decreased gradually from 6.5% in 2008 to 5.7% in 2009 and 4.3% in 2010. A little over half (55.6%) of HIV positive clients were females. The overwhelming majority of clients screened for HIV were males. Prevalence of HIV infection among VCT clients was estimated to 5.4% and varied by socio-demographic characteristics of the clients. Six in ten of the HIV positive clients were never married and nearly three-fourth of HIV positive clients (73.6%) were urban residents. Farmers and domestic workers accounted for more than half (52.5%) of the total HIV positive clients. Higher prevalence rates were observed in the 25 to 34 age groups, the urban residents, never married, farmers and domestic workers. The prevalence of HIV showed a decreasing pattern from 2008 through 2010; but the distribution was shifting from urban to rural areas. Trying to produce single prevalence estimates for the entire country is inadequate for understanding the scale and heterogeneity of the epidemic. HIV/AIDS programs should be more focused geographically and directed to the regions, districts and communities that exhibit higher prevalence rates and at higher risk and more intensive AIDS control efforts are needed.
Key words: Human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome(HIV/AIDS), voluntary counseling and testing (VCT), Finote Selam, prevalence.
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