Date of Conferral
Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)
Many researchers have alluded to the inequity in distribution of HIV preventive services in South Africa (SA). Other researchers have demonstrated that socio-demographic factors are main determinants of distribution of preventive services like voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) in SA. VCT is a primary HIV prevention tool through which infected persons enter the treatment, care, and support programs; identifying the impact of socio-demographic determinants (SDDs) on VCT uptake in SA could help direct VCT services to areas and individuals that need them most. The research question in this study examined what and how SDDs impact the uptake of VCT in SA using the integrated theory of health behavior change (ITHBC) as its theoretical framework. A quantitative study with a cross-sectional design using secondary data from a population-based survey by the John Hopkins Education and Health SA (2012) was conducted. In a multivariate logistic regression analysis, SDDs like province, settlement, employment, races, and age were statistically significant while marital status, education, and SES (socio-economic status) did not have statistically significant impact on VCT uptake. This study demonstrated that Black, unemployed men of low to medium SES between the ages of 15-49 years living in peri-urban and urban-informal areas of all provinces but especially Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, and North West provinces of SA had the lowest VCT uptake. This study advocates policies and programs to improve VCT distribution and accessibility in places and individuals with lowest uptake. Improved uptake will help reduce new HIV infection, HIV-associated morbidity, and mortality; as well as ensure equity, equality, and social justice in the distribution of HIV preventive services in SA.