2013. 7 p.
Ngo, Anh D.
Ha, Toan H.
Rule, John
Dang, Chinh V.
Periodical title: 
PLoS ONE, 8 (11), e80951
Introduction: This paper reports changes in behavioral outcomes related to the use of HIV testing service of a project that employed peer-based education strategies and integration of HIV voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) and Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services targeting young people aged 15–24 across 5 provinces in Vietnam. Methods: A pre-test/post-test, non-experimental evaluation design was used. Data were collected from cross-sectional surveys of youth and client exit interviews at project supported SRH clinics conducted at baseline and again at 24 months following implementation. The baseline samples consisted of 813 youth and 399 exit clients. The end line samples included 501 youths and 399 exit clients. Z test was used to assess changes in behavioral outcomes. Results: Results show that there was a significant increase (p,0.05) in the percentage of youth who wanted to obtain a HIV test (from 33% to 51%), who had ever had a test (from 7.5% to 15%), and who had a repeat test in the last 12 months (from 54.5% to 67.5%). Exit client interviews found a nearly five-fold increase in the percentage of clients seeking HIV VCT in their current visit (5.0% vs. 24.5%) and almost two-fold increase in the percentage of those having their last test at a project supported clinic (9.3% vs. 17.8%). There were also positive changes in some aspects of youth HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitudes, and risk perceptions. Conclusions: This study provides preliminary evidence regarding the benefits of the integration of HIV VCT-SRH services in terms of increased access to HIV services and testing in Vietnam. Benefits of peer-based education regarding increased HIV knowledge were also identified. Further investigations, including experimental studies with assessment of health outcomes and the uptake of HIV testing services, are required to better elucidate the effectiveness and challenges of this intervention model in Vietnam.
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