Acceptability of HIV Testing and Counseling Services among Persons Visiting a Funeral Home in a Regional Referral Hospital in Western Kenya, 2014-2015

Barbara Burmen, Kennedy Kipkoech Mutai


Funeral homes in health facilities are accessed by persons who may not visit other parts of the hospital to access HTC services. Between November 2014 and February 2015, all persons visiting the Jaramogi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital funeral home were offered HTC and grief counseling services and interviewed to determine the acceptability of HTC services at this location. This was done as they waited for various services. ‘Acceptability’ was defined as the proportion of those who felt people should receive HTC services at the funeral home. Qualitative data was manually coded and thematically analyzed. Of 609 persons interviewed, majority were aged 25-34 years (33%), female (54%), married (68%), of primary level education (39%), self-employed (49%) and were not related to the deceased (53%). Majority had come to collect/bring the body of the deceased (63%) and had undergone prior testing (91%). A minority (2%) who found HTC services unacceptable were aged 18-24 years (42%), single (50%), of tertiary level education (58%), came to collect/bring the bodies of their deceased (83%), had ever been tested (92%) and were self-employed (33%) or unemployed (33%). Respondents stated that this was because, “….the bereaved not in the right frame of mind” (76%) and “…the HTC service-providers were very conspicuous” (26%). Acceptability did not differ by age-group, gender or relationship to the deceased. Of the 569 (93%) who were tested, 42 (7%) were first-time testers; HIV prevalence was 3% and 5% respectively. Funeral homes provide acceptable avenues for increasing access to knowledge of HIV status which could have a substantial impact on the HIV epidemic.

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International Journal of Social Science Studies   ISSN 2324-8033 (Print)   ISSN 2324-8041 (Online)

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