Attitudes of Patients Attending Omdurman Teaching Hospital VCT Center, Sudan toward HIV/AIDS Voluntary Counseling and Testing Services


Background: Despite the availability of HIV/AIDS voluntary counselling and testing services in Omdurman Teaching Hospital, the level of uptake remains low, and the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in Sudan is still high. This situation suggests that there may be some underlying factors, such as patients’ attitudes toward the services provided, that are affecting their willingness to access them. Therefore, this study aimed to assess the attitude of patients attending HIV/AIDS voluntary counselling and testing services in Omdurman Teaching Hospital, Sudan.

Methods: A descriptive hospital-based study was conducted at Omdurman Teaching Hospital, Sudan. All patients attending HIV/AIDs counseling and voluntary services center were invited to participate in this study, and of the 200 invited, 150 patients participated with a response rate of 75%. Data were collected using a structured interview questionnaire and then analyzed by SPSS (version 23).

Results: The findings revealed that many patients (92%) have a positive attitude toward HIV voluntary counselling and testing and believed that the shared information is informative and influential. It was also observed that 80% of the patients who received counselling had lower levels of social and psychological stress and stigma.

Conclusion: The study highlighted the positive attitude of patients to utilize HIV/AIDS voluntary counselling and testing services which reduces the social and psychological stresses and stigma among HIV patients. Females and Muslim patients had a positive attitude.


HIV, voluntary counselling and testing, stigma, psychological stresses, Sudan

[1] Global Statistics. (2021). The global HIV/AIDS rpidemic.

[2] Killewo, J. Z., Kwesigabo, G., Comoro, C., Lugalla, J., Mhalu, F. S., Biberfeld, G., Wall, S., & Sandström, A. (1998). Acceptability of voluntary HIV testing with counselling in a rural village in Kagera, Tanzania. AIDS Care, 10(4), 431– 439.

[3] Tshephe, T. (2022). Determinants of HIV and AIDS voluntary counselling testing among women of reproductive age in South Africa. North-West University, South Africa.

[4] World Health Organization. (2020). Consolidated guidelines on HIV testing services, 2019.

[5] WHO. (2019). Sudan National strategic plan and sector plan on AIDS strategy 2004– 2009.

[6] Elsheikh, I. E., Crutzen, R., & Van den Borne, H. W. (2015). Perceptions of Sudanese women of reproductive age toward HIV/AIDS and services for Prevention of Mother-to-Child Transmission of HIV. BMC Public Health, 15(1), 674.

[7] Mahmoud, M. M., Nasr, A. M., Gassmelseed, D. E. A., Abdalelhafiz, M. A., Elsheikh, M. A., & Adam, I. (2007). Knowledge and attitude toward HIV voluntary counseling and testing services among pregnant women attending an antenatal clinic in Sudan. Journal of Medical Virology, 79(5), 469–473.

[8] Costa, A. B., Viscardi, L. H., Feijo, M., & Fontanari, A. M. V. (2022). HIV Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT-HIV) effectiveness for sexual risk-reduction among key populations: A systematic review and meta-analysis. EClinicalMedicine, 52, 101612.

[9] Chellaiyan, V. G., Raut, D. K., & Khokhar, A. (2018). Integrated counseling and HIV testing centers of Delhi: An evaluation. Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, 7(4), 791–795.

[10] Wamuti, B., Muthuma, E., Mutiti, P., Macharia, P., Sambai, B., & Bukusi, D. (2021). Client satisfaction with service delivery models at the Kenyatta National Hospital Voluntary Counselling and Testing Center (VCT). East African Medical Journal, 98(12), 4351–4360.

[11] Nursanti, S., editor. (2018). VCT Counselor Activities in handling HIV Patients in RSUD Karawang District: Case Study of VCT Counseling Activities in HIV Patient Management at RSUD Karawang. International Conference of Communication Science Research (ICCSR 2018). Atlantis Press.

[12] Fonner, V. A., Denison, J., Kennedy, C. E., O’Reilly, K., & Sweat, M. (2012). Voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) for changing HIV-related risk behavior in developing countries. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 9(9):CD001224.

[13] Coovadia, H. M. (2000). Access to voluntary counseling and testing for HIV in developing countries. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 918(1), 57– 63.

[14] Pronyk, P. M., Kim, J. C., Makhubele, M. B., Hargreaves, J. R., Mohlala, R., & Hausler, H. P. (2002). Introduction of voluntary counselling and rapid testing for HIV in rural South Africa: From theory to practice. AIDS Care, 14(6), 859– 865.

[15] Ali, A., & Osman, E. (2014). Factors influencing HIV voluntary counseling and testing (Vct) among pregnant women in Kassala, Eastern Sudan. Journal of Women’s Health Care, 3(198), 2167–0420.

[16] Abdalla, A. M., & Abusalih, H. H. (2021). Factors affecting HIV voluntary counseling and testing uptake among undergraduate students of Khartoum, Sudan. The Open AIDS Journal, 15(1), 21–27.

[17] Alumran, A., Hou, X.-Y., & Hurst, C. (2012). Validity and reliability of instruments designed to measure factors influencing the overuse of antibiotics. Journal of Infection and Public Health, 5(3), 221–232.

[18] Heale, R., & Twycross, A. (2015). Validity and reliability in quantitative studies. Evidence-Based Nursing, 18(3), 66–67.

[19] HIV/AIDS JUNPo. (2000). UNAIDS Technical Update: Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT). UNAIDS.

[20] Malawi, A. (2003). Counselling and Resource Organization (MACRO)(2003). Annual Progress Report.

[21] National AIDS Commission. (2003). National estimate of HIV/AIDS in Malawi in 2003. National AIDS Commission.

[22] Badawi, M. M., Atif, M. S., & Mustafa, Y. Y. (2018). Systematic review and metaanalysis of HIV, HBV and HCV infection prevalence in Sudan. Virology Journal, 15(1), 148.

[23] Baggaley, R. (2001). The impact of voluntary counselling and testing: A global review of the benefits and challenges. Geneva: UNAIDS.

[24] Low-Beer, D., & Stoneburner, R. (2004). Uganda and the challenge of HIV/AIDS. In The political economy of AIDS in Africa (p. 26). Routledge.

[25] Stoneburner, R. L., & Low-Beer, D. (2004). Sexual partner reductions explain human immunodeficiency virus declines in Uganda: Comparative analyses of HIV and behavioural data in Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, and Zambia. IJE, 33(3).

[26] Atkinson, S., Ngwengwe, A., Macwan’gi, M., Ngulube, T. J., Harpham, T., & O’Connell, A. (1999). The referral process and urban health care in sub-Saharan Africa: The case of Lusaka, Zambia. Social Science & Medicine, 49(1), 27– 38.

[27] Wang, Y., Cochran, C., Xu, P., Shen, J. J., Zeng, G., Xu, Y., Sun, M., Li, C., Li, X., Chang, F., Lu, J., Hao, M., & Lu, F. (2014). Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome/human immunodeficiency virus knowledge, attitudes, and practices, and use of healthcare services among rural migrants: A cross-sectional study in China. BMC Public Health, 14(1), 158.

[28] Fylkesnes, K., Haworth, A., Rosensvärd, C., & Kwapa, P. M. (1999). HIV counselling and testing: Overemphasizing high acceptance rates a threat to confidentiality and the right not to know. AIDS, 13(17), 2469–2474. 199912030-00019

[29] Okonkwo, K. C., Reich, K., Alabi, A. I., Umeike, N., & Nachman, S. A. (2007). An evaluation of awareness: Attitudes and beliefs of pregnant Nigerian women toward voluntary counseling and testing for HIV. AIDS Patient Care and STDs, 21(4), 252– 260.

[30] Denison, J. A., McCauley, A. P., Dunnett-Dagg, W. A., Lungu, N., & Sweat, M. D. (2009). HIV testing among adolescents in Ndola, Zambia: How individual, relational, and environmental factors relate to demand. AIDS Education and Prevention, 21(4), 314–324.

[31] Bwambale, F. M., Ssali, S. N., Byaruhanga, S., Kalyango, J. N., & Karamagi, C. A. (2008). Voluntary HIV counselling and testing among men in rural western Uganda: Implications for HIV prevention. BMC Public Health, 8(1), 263.