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HIV testing and ethnicity among adolescent girls and young women aged 15-24 years in Ghana: what really matters?

Nwaozuru, U.; Shato, T.; Obiezu-Umeh, C.; Uzoaru, F.; Mason, S.; Gyamfi, J.; Iwelunmor, J.

Journal of Biosocial Science 54(5): 812-828

2022


ISSN/ISBN: 1469-7599
PMID: 34511162
Accession: 071851898

Despite the high prevalence of HIV among adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) aged 15-24 years in Ghana, HIV testing remains low among this population. The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between ethnicity and HIV testing among AGYW in Ghana. The 2014 Ghana Demographic and Health Survey data were used and analyses were restricted to 3325 female participants aged 15-24 years. Chi-squared tests and a logistic regression model were used to assess the association between ethnicity and HIV testing. Furthermore, the PEN-3 cultural model informed the conceptual framework that explained the relationship between ethnicity and HIV testing behaviour. Results from the bivariate analysis showed an association between ethnicity and HIV testing among AGYW (p<0.05). However, when controlling for other behavioural and socioeconomic determinants of HIV testing in the logistic regression, there was no association between ethnicity and HIV testing. The significant predictors of HIV testing were marital status, having multiple sexual partners, and condom use. The AGYW who were married (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 4.56, CI: 3.46-6.08) or previously married (aOR = 4.30, CI: 2.00-9.23) were more likely to test for HIV compared with those who were never married. Having multiple sexual partners (aOR = 0.41, CI: 0.20-0.85) and condom use (aOR = 0.56, CI: 0.38-0.84) were associated with lower odds of HIV testing. The results provide evidence that ethnicity is not associated with HIV testing among AGYW in Ghana, as the bivariate association was attenuated when other behavioural and socioeconomic determinants of HIV testing were accounted for. These findings highlight the importance of considering individual-level factors, community-level factors, and other socio-cultural factors as they really matter in the development of HIV prevention programmes for adolescent girls and young women in Ghana.

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