Introduction: Studies show that HIV counseling and testing (HCT) can improve linkage to HIV prevention,
care and treatment services. However, uptake of HCT among couples remains low in most settings. We investigated the
determinants of HCT uptake among individuals in long-term relationships in two districts in Uganda.
Methods: This case-control study was conducted among 787 (400 in Kampala and 387 in Soroti) individuals in long-term
sexual relationships, aged 18-54 years, using interviewer-administered questionnaires. Cases were individuals who had
ever tested for HIV (selected from health facility records and traced in the community for interview) while controls were
individuals who had never tested for HIV, identified from the same community as the cases. Data were collected on sociodemographic
and behavioral characteristics; entered into FoxPro and analyzed using STATA version 12.1. We performed
multivariable logistic regression to estimate the odds ratio (OR) and 95% Confidence Intervals (95%CI) associated with
prior HCT and couples’ HCT uptake, controlling for suspected confounders.
Results: Of the 787 participants, 522 had ever tested for HIV (cases) while 265 had never tested for HIV (controls).
Compared to those that had never tested for HIV, those that had ever tested for HIV were significantly more likely to be
females (Adj. OR=3.23, 95%CI: 2.27, 4.60), to be 25-29 years old (Adj. OR=2.15, 95%CI: 1.32, 3.50), to report exposure
to a couples’ HCT promotional campaign (Adj. OR=2.01, 95%CI: 1.30, 3.10) and to believe that HIV discordance is
possible among married couples (Adj. OR=1.77, 95%CI: 1.20, 2.63). Compared to individuals that had ever received
individual HCT, those that had ever received couples’ HCT were significantly more likely to report prior discussion of
HIV testing with partner (Adj. OR=4.35, 95%CI: 2.61, 7.28) and to be residents of Soroti district (Adj. OR=6.01, 95%CI:
Conclusion: Prior HCT was significantly associated with female gender and exposure to a couples’ HCT promotional
campaign while prior couples’ HCT was significantly associated with prior discussion of HIV testing with partner. To
increase HIV testing among couples, these findings suggest a need for HCT promotional campaigns that promote
communication about HCT between partners.