Setting: Two out-patient tuberculosis treatment centers, Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire.
Objective: To assess the effect of a human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) counseling and testing program on acquired immune-deficiency syndrome (AIDS) related knowledge and behaviors among persons with newly diagnosed tuberculosis.
Design: Since 1994, patients with newly diagnosed tuberculosis have received individual or group HIV pretest counseling, informed consent, free HIV testing for those who consent, and post test counseling. From January 1995 through August 1996 in Abidjan's two largest tuberculosis clinics, knowledge and beliefs about HIV/AIDS were assessed before and immediately after the group pretest sessions, and again 4 months later.
Results: Prior to pretest counseling, 68.9% and 68.0% of the 559 enrolled subjects could correctly identify five modes of HIV transmission and five modes of HIV prevention. These proportions increased significantly immediately after pretest counseling (90.0%, 86.6%, respectively), and remained higher 4 months later (83.7%, 87.7%) (all P < 0.01). Among men, consistent condom use during the preceding 4 months with a partner who was not a commercial sex worker increased from 9.9% at enrollment to 23.6% at the 4-month visit (P = 0.001), but not for women (6.3% vs. 9.5%, P = 0.40).
Conclusions: An HIV pretest counseling program conducted in an out-patient tuberculosis clinic was well accepted, and significantly increased the level of HIV/AIDS knowledge and, among men, self-reported condom use.