Silvia Carlos Email authorFrancis NzakimuenaGabriel ReinaCristina Lopez-del BurgoEduardo BurgueñoAdolphe NdarabuAlfonso Osorio and

Jokin de Irala 

BMC Public HealthBMC series – open, inclusive and trusted201616:606

DOI: 10.1186/s12889-016-3285-5

Accepted: 8 July 2016

Published: 20 July 2016



Considering the high percentage of couples in which one or both members are HIV negative, the frequency of transmission among non-regular partners and the probabilities of non-disclosure, attention should be paid to people getting a negative HIV test at the Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT). Research has shown that a negative HIV test may be followed by a change in sexual behaviours. In Sub-Saharan Africa, where most HIV infections occur, there are few studies that have analysed the factors associated with changes in sexual risk behaviours after a negative HIV test at the VCT clinic. The aim of this project is to evaluate the specific factors associated with changes in sexual behaviours, three months after a negative result in an HIV test, and to analyse the effect of counseling and testing on HIV-related knowledge of participants in an outpatient centre of Kinshasa (Democratic Republic of Congo).

Methods and design

Prospective cohort study from December 2014 until March 2016. People 15–60 year old that received VCT at Monkole Hospital (Kinshasa) were followed three months after they got a negative HIV test. In a face-to-face interview, participants replied to a baseline and a follow-up research questionnaire on HIV-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviours. At follow-up respondents were also offered a new HIV test and additional HIV counseling. Four hundred and fifteen participants completed the baseline questionnaire and 363 (87 %) came back for their 3-month follow up.


This is the first longitudinal study in the DRC that evaluates the factors associated with changes in sexual behaviours after a negative HIV test at the VCT. Participants attending the VCT services within a clinical setting are a good study population as they can be good transmitters of preventive information for other people with no access to health facilities.


HIV Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) Negative test Sexual Behaviour Knowledge Cohort Africa