There is limited research addressing the beliefs of adolescents related to Voluntary Counseling and HIV-Testing (VCT). This paper analyzes qualitative data on such beliefs elicited from male youth in Uganda and Malawi. Although study participants understood the mainstream public health rhetoric on VCT, much of their narratives framed going for HIV testing in terms of danger, as a sign of lack of self-confidence, and as an acknowledgment of vulnerability. This tendency, we contend, is strongly rooted in the inclination of male youth to perform and validate their identities in gestures of self-certitude, imperviousness, invulnerability, and invincibility. Further, the idea of 'not wanting to die alone' from AIDS also featured prominently in the narratives, with many respondents declaring that they would deliberately infect others with HIV should they test positive. Key to freeing young people from the shackles of consternation and misconceptions about VCT and HIV is comprehensive HIV education.
Izugbara, C.O.; Chi-Chi Undie; Mudege, N.N.; Ezeh, A.C. Male youth and Voluntary Counseling and HIV-Testing: the case of Malawi and Uganda. Sex Education Journal (2009) 9 (3) 243-259. [DOI: 10.1080/14681810903059078]