An analysis of the role of VCT in the prevention of HIV infection in Sub-Saharan Africa : Swakopmund, Namibia case study

Iafigliola-Kriner, Ivanna Valeria (2006-04)

Asignment (MPhil)--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This research paper looks at the role of VCT (Voluntary Counselling and Testing) services in the prevention of HIV – a growing trend throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. The benefits of VCT on the HIV positive segment of the population are clear, i.e. psychosocial support, access to further resources etc. However, the impact of VCT services on the HIV negative segment of society, as a preventive tool, has not been closely studied. Many organizations are implementing HIV workplace programmes but not emphasising voluntary counselling and testing services, often due to the often high cost of these services and the fact that employees miss out on work time in order to be tested. Organizations need to strive to ensure that their HIV positive employees remain healthy enough to work and also that their HIV negative employees remain negative. Behaviour change is at the root of HIV prevention. How to bring about behaviour change, however, still remains a major stumbling block to HIV prevention. This is especially true when looking at the multi-cultural environment in Sub-Saharan Africa. This study was conducted in Swakopmund, Namibia. Data was gathered on individuals voluntarily making use of VCT services. The study focuses on 221 clients who have attended VCT services, tested negative on their initial visit and returned after a three month period for further counselling and testing. Data gathered includes background information, high risk activities, and was gathered during both visits. Information gathered during both visits was then compared and analysed. An analysis of the data has shown that indeed VCT services can produce behaviour change and therefore reduce risk to HIV. Clients returning to the VCT centre for further counselling and testing showed a decrease in high risk activities such as unprotected sex, sex while intoxicated and number of sexual partners. This may help to reshape how we think about VCT and to assist in further integrating VCT services into successful HIV/AIDS management programmes.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie navorsing behandel die rol van V.C.T ( Voluntary Counselling and Testing ) – dienste vir die voorkoming van MIV/ VIGS – wat merkbare groei in Sub-Sahara-Afrika toon. Die voordele wat V.C.T vir die MIV – positiewe deel van die bevolking inhou spreek vanself nl. sielkundige hulp, die toegang tot ander hulpbronne ens. Maal hul effek op die MIV negatiewe deel van die gemeenskap is tot hede nog nie van naderby gebestudeer nie. Vele organisasies is tans besig om MIV programme by werkplekke te implimenteer, maar beklemtoon ongelukkig nie vrywillige raadgewing, -voorligting en, -toetsing genoeg nie. Dikwels is dit toe te skryf an die hoë koste, en ook dat werknemers tyd by hulle werk sou verloor om getoets te kan word. Werkgewers behoort te poog dat MIV-positiewe werknemers gesond genoeg bly om werk te kan verrig, en dat MIV- negatiewe werknemers negatief bly. Van die belangrikste aspekte vir MIV-voorkoming en bekamping is gedragspatrone en lewenswyse wat noodwendig sal moet verander. Om hierdie verandering te hulp bewerkstellig is en bly steeds ń groot probleem. Dit geld veral vir die multikulturele bevolking van Suid- Sahara-Afrika. Hierdie studie is in Swakopmund, Namibia gedoen. Data is by individue wat vrywillig van V.C.T.- dienste gebruik maak het, verkry. Die studie fokus op 221 kliente wat hierdie dienste bygewoon het, negatief getoets is met die eerste besoek, en dan na drie maande teruggekeer het vir verdere berading en toetsing. Die data sluit al die kliente se agtergrond inligting, hoë risiko aktiwiteite, en is ingewin by beide besoeke. Die twee stelle inligting is dan vergelyk en geanaliseer. Analise van die data toon dat V.C.T-dienste inderdaad gedragsveranderinge tot vevolg kan he en derhalwe die gevaar van MIV kan verminder. Kliente wat opvolgsbesoeke an die V.C.Tsentrum gebring het, het na voorligting en toetse ń afname in hoë risiko bedrywighede. getoon.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/17449
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