Date of Conferral



Doctor of Public Health (DrPH)


Public Health


Vasileios Margaritis


Voluntary HIV/AIDS testing and counselling (VHTC) is one of the preventive measures used in many countries to decrease the spread of HIV/AIDS. Archived data from National HIV/AIDS Response Program's (NHARP) raw 2016 dataset were used to identify relationships and to assess significant differences between sociodemographic factors and selected sexual risk behaviours versus VHTC practices among adults 18 years and older who resided in Dominica. The health belief model was used as the framework for this cross-sectional study. The sample comprised 982 participants (40% [394] men and 60% [588] women). Logistic regression analysis was used to assess associations between sociodemographic and sexual risk exposure factors versus VHTC. Findings revealed that, as compared to age group > 65 years, participants in age groups 25-44 years were 5 times more likely--and 45-64 years were 2 times more likely--to have engaged in VHTC (OR = 5.11, 95% CI = 2.03, 12.8 and OR = 2.63, 95% CI = 1.07, 6.49, respectively). The odds not to engage in VHTC were 48% higher for participants from Grand Bay district (rural area) compared to Roseau health district (capital) (OR = .52, 95% CI = .29, .94). The odds of nonengagement in VHTC were 51% higher for participants not having vaginal sex, compared to those who reported having vaginal sex (OR = .49, 95% CI = .26, .92). The implications for positive social change include providing public health practitioners with data to plan and implement educational programs specific to the demographic characteristics in Dominica. This will enhance current efforts to raise awareness regarding HIV/AIDS and may increase VHTC practice among the population that may reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS.