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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Reactions to Voluntary Counseling and Testing in Rural Malawi

  • Author(s): Thornton, Rebecca
  • Bula, Agatha
  • Chavula, Kondwani
  • Bignami-Van Assche, Simona
  • Watkins, Susan
  • et al.

As part of a study that tested individuals for sexually transmitted infections in rural Malawi, we examine the reactions to the provision of voluntary counseling and testing (VCT). This paper presents response rates as well as summarizing qualitative data on community comments. Our primary substantive conclusion is that despite mixed community opinions about the value of VCT, there was unexpectedly high participation in VCT. This has important implications for current methods of assessing the acceptability of VCT based on research that poses hypothetical questions rather than measuring actual behavior.

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