The WHO recommends routine HIV testing among TB patients as a key strategy to combat the dual HIV/TB epidemic. India has integrated its HIV and TB control programs and is offering provider initiated HIV testing for all TB patients since 2007. Using a mixed methods approach, this study aims to understand the perspectives of TB patients and providers on the integrated HIV/TB pilot program in Tamilnadu, India. A survey conducted by the Tuberculosis Research Center, India on 300 TB patients is the source for quantitative data and in-depth interviews conducted by the researcher with ten health care providers constitute the qualitative data. Findings of this study show that HIV testing among TB patients is feasible and acceptable in this setting. However, as identified by the providers, barriers like social stigma for HIV/AIDS and lack of adequate counseling services exist, which when addressed appropriately, could maximize uptake of the continuing program.
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Thesis advisor: Chockalingam, Arun
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