Background: With increasing calls for linking HIV-infected individuals to treatment and care via expanded testing, we examined sociodemographic and behavioral characteristics associated with HIV testing among men and women in Soweto, South Africa.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional household survey involving 1539 men and 1877 women as part of the community-randomized prevention trial Project ACCEPT/HPTN043 between July 2007 to October 2007. Multivariable logistic regression models, stratified by sex, assessed factors associated with HIV testing and then repeated testing.
Results: Most women (64.8%) and 28.9% of men reported ever having been tested for HIV, among whom 57.9% reported repeated HIV testing. In multivariable analyses, youth and students had a lower odds of HIV testing. Men and women who had conversations about HIV/AIDS with increasing frequency and who had heard about antiretroviral therapy were more likely to report HIV testing, and repeated testing. Men who had ≥ 12 years of education and who were of high socioeconomic status, and women who were married, who were of low socioeconomic status, and who had children under their care had a higher odds of HIV testing. Women, older individuals, those with higher levels of education, married individuals, and those with children under their care had a higher odds of reporting repeated HIV testing. Uptake of HIV testing was not associated with condom use, having multiple sex partners, and HIV-related stigma.
Conclusions: Given the low uptake of HIV testing among men and youth, further targeted interventions could facilitate a test and treat strategy among urban South Africans.