|DETERMINANTS OF HIV TESTING UPTAKE AMONG WOMEN (AGED 15-49 YEARS) IN THE PHILIPPINES, MYANMAR, AND CAMBODIA|
||Wah W. Myint, David J. Washburn, Brian Colwell, Jay E. Maddock
||International Journal of Maternal and Child Health and AIDS, Volume 10, issue 2; DOI:https://doi.org/10.21106/ijma.525
||Background: Many countries have been trying to eliminate Mother-to-Child transmission of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and achieve the 90-90-90 target goals. The targets mean that 90% of People Living with HIV (PLWHIV) know their HIV status, 90% of those who are infected receive Antiretroviral treatment (ART), and 90% of those achieve viral suppression. Despite some progress, the goals have not been met in the Philippines, Myanmar, and Cambodia, countries with relatively high or growing HIV prevalence. This study identifies the sociodemographic determinants of testing among women in these countries so that better health education and stigma reduction strategies can be developed.
Methods: Descriptive and multivariable analyses were conducted using Demographic and Health Survey data conducted in the Philippines (2017), Myanmar (2015/2016), and Cambodia (2014). The outcome variable was having ever been tested for HIV. Independent variables included knowledge and attitudes about HIV and social determinants of health.
Results: A significant difference in testing rates among women was observed (the Philippines: 5%, Myanmar: 19%, Cambodia: 42%). In Myanmar and Cambodia, women who had more HIV knowledge and less stigma towards PLWHIV were more likely to get tested for HIV than those who did not. Marital status, education, wealth were strong predictors for HIV testing among women. Younger women aged 15-19 and those who live in the rural areas were less likely to get HIV tested than older and those living in urban areas. Employed women were less likely to seek an HIV test than the unemployed in Myanmar and Cambodia, whereas, in the Philippines, the opposite relationship was found.
Conclusion and Global Health Implications: Women with less education and those less familiar with HIV should be targeted for HIV testing interventions. Stigma reduction and different testing strategies could facilitate early screening leading to improved HIV testing among women.