Demographic and AIDS-related characteristics of consenters to a population-based HIV-survey: results from a pilot study in Arusha, Tanzania.East Afr Med J. 1994 Aug; 71(8):483-9.EA
The aim was to compare demographic and AIDS-related characteristics of people who consented to HIV-testing as part of a population survey with those who did not consent to HIV-testing. Subjects, aged 15-54 years, living in ten randomly selected clusters of households in one ward of Arusha town were asked to participate in a structured interview and to provide a blood sample for HIV-testing. Measurements included demographic variables and AIDS-related factors, such as knowledge of AIDS and sexual behaviour, and HIV-testing with Western Blot confirmation. Sixty-two percent of the eligible population (N = 600) participated in the interview, while 38% consented to HIV-testing. Odds ratio analysis techniques were used to compare consenters and non-consenters. More women than men participated in the interview (OR = 4.23), and participating men were younger than non-participating men (29.1 vs 31.9 years). Subjects who had attended secondary school were underrepresented among the HIV- test consenters (OR = 0.40). No other demographic or AIDS-related differences were observed between HIV-test consenters and non-consenters. At least in this pilot, non- consenters did not appear to be at any higher risk for HIV-infection than the consenters. Future population-based HIV-surveys might have to compromise on maximizing participation rate in order to secure informed, non-coerced consent from participants.