Increasing the uptake of Voluntary Counselling and Testing for HIV/AIDS and Medical Male Circumcision among High School Leaners in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: A Discrete Choice Experiment
A discrete choice experiment is conducted among high school learners in Vulindlela, a sub-district in Umgungundlovu, KwaZulu-Natal. The study is an economic component of a larger study to assess behavioural disinhibition among high school learners following medical male circumcision (MMC). The purpose of the study is to examine preferences around MMC and voluntary counselling and testing (VCT), a prerequisite for MMC.
The primary aim of this study is twofold – to determine how the uptake rates of voluntary counselling and testing (HCT) for HIV/AIDS and medical male circumcision programmes may be increased. The specific objectives of this study are to determine and rank the relative importance of the various components – or attributes – of an individual’s choice (to undergo VCT, or to undergo MMC) in influencing their final decision, the ultimate purpose being to identify possible incentive strategies and reduce barriers to VCT and MMC. Secondary objectives included estimation of willingness to pay for services offered to learners in the community.
Using a discrete choice experiment (DCE) framework, qualitative and quantitative research is carried out. Focus group discussions are conducted to help in the development of the quantitative instrument. The quantitative component includes a socio-demographic section, some questions designed in line with current DCE practice and an open-ended contingent valuation question for estimation of willingness to pay.
To date, a research Masters degree has been submitted, and one academic journal article published and two are currently in press. There are currently three further academic journal articles in various stages of preparation to be submitted by the end of 2015. This research has already been presented at two conferences and is will be presented at AIDS Impact 2015.