Objective: The present study aimed to predict Tanzanian medical students' Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) participation intention using the Health Belief Model (HBM) as a theoretical framework. Further, differences between respondents who had previously participated in VCT and respondents who had not were assessed. Methods: Cross-sectional data were gathered from 186 Tanzanian medical students using a self-administered questionnaire. Results: Almost half of the respondents (43.3%) reported having been tested for HIV. A prediction model containing HBM and demographic variables explained 31% of the variance in VCT-participation intention. Self-efficacy, fear of being HIV-positive, and perceived susceptibility contributed significantly to the final regression model. In addition, respondents who had previously participated in VCT expressed less fear of being stigmatized and being HIV-positive than respondents who had not. Conclusion: Fear of being HIV-positive, self-efficacy, perceived susceptibility and fear of being stigmatized were associated with either VCT-participation intention or previous participation. Further, the HBM accounted for a limited proportion of the explained variance in Tanzanian students' intention to participate in VCT. This suggests that the validity of the HBM in explaining HIV-preventive behavior in Sub-Saharan Africa should be questioned. Practice implications: Interventions promoting VCT should incorporate program elements targeting self-efficacy, fear of being HIV-positive, perceived susceptibility and fear of being stigmatized.

Additional Metadata
Keywords AIDS prevention, Health Belief Model, Stigma, VCT-participation
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2008.08.022, hdl.handle.net/1765/18291
Citation
Vermeer, W., Bos, A.E.R., Mbwambo, J., Kaaya, S., & Schaalma, H.P.. (2009). Social and cognitive variables predicting voluntary HIV counseling and testing among Tanzanian medical students. Patient Education and Counseling, 75(1), 135–140. doi:10.1016/j.pec.2008.08.022