The provision of antiretroviral therapy (ART) has emerged as a key component of the global response to HIV/AIDS. As access to ART increases in sub-Saharan Africa, increasing the numbers of people who get tested for HIV has become a priority. This paper examines factors associated with uptake of HIV testing in Kenya. Among various factors, the paper explores the determinants of individuals’ perceptions of their own risk of having HIV. Several key determinants of perceived risk (such as beliefs about the faithfulness of sexual partners) are found to strongly influence HIV testing behavior. In addition, individual characteristics as well as personal knowledge of people who have died of AIDS are found to have a significant association with the probability of having gone for an HIV test. Important from the standpoint of scaling-up ART, knowledge about the availability of treatment has a positive and significant association with the probability of having gone for an HIV test. The causal effect of ART availability on testing probability, however, is difficult to establish. Finally, important differences are found between the determinants of testing at ANC clinics and VCT clinics.
Thirumurthy, H.; Zivin, J.G. The Determinants of HIV Testing Behavior in Kenya: Implications for ARV Scale-Up. (2012) 42 pp.