Barriers to HIV voluntary counselling and testing among refugees and asylum seekers from African Great Lakes region living in Durban

Mujyambere, Prudence (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2012-03)

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Extended displacement and the disruption of refugees’ lives can put them at increased risk for HIV/AIDS. While HIV/AIDS services needed by refugees already exist in their host countries, several challenges limit their access to those services. HIV voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) is an entry point for prevention and care. However, Access to VCT services remains limited and demand is often low. The study sought to determine the barriers to Voluntary Counselling and Testing among refugees and asylum seekers from African Great lakes region living in Durban in order to provide guidelines for interventions. The present study was conducted within the qualitative paradigm. In-depth interviews, semi structured questionnaires and focus groups were employed for data collection. Data were collected from refugees and asylum seekers from African Great lakes region living in Durban and from two VCT providers operating in Durban. The study used a purposive sampling and an opportunistic sampling method. Fear was the dominant barrier to VCT among participants. It included fear of the HIV positive status as a death sentence, fear of stigma and discrimination and fear of rejection. The study also revealed that realising there is no cure, low-risk perception on the one hand and risky sexual behaviour on the other hand, not trusting health department, inconvenient testing hours, inconvenient VCT sites location, not careering if one is HIV positive or not, not knowing about VCT, being unsure where to get tested, and the perception that VCT was expensive were some of the most important barriers to VCT. The study also indicated that language was a barrier to accessing VCT services and information in Durban. Furthermore the study revealed that not having a refugee permit was a barrier to accessing VCT Services in Durban. The study recommended that interventions to increase VCT utilization among refugees from African Great Lakes Region living in Durban are needed should focus on VCT promotion and on reducing HIV/AIDS related fear, stigma and discrimination.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die uitgebreide verplasing en die ontwrigting van vlugtelinge se lewens kan hulle 'n groter risiko vir MIV/ VIGS maak. Terwyl MIV/VIGS dienste wat nodig is deur vlugtelinge reeds bestaan in hul gasheer lande, bestaan daar verskeie uitdagings wat hulle toegang tot die dienste beperk. MIV vrywillige berading en toetsing (VBT) is 'n instrument tot die voorkoming en versorging van die toestand. Toegang tot VBT dienste bly egter beperk en die aanvraag is dikwels laag. Die studie poog om die struikelblokke tot vrywillige berading en toetsing onder vlugtelinge en asielsoekers uit die Afrika Groot Mere streek, wat tans in Durban woon, te identifiseer en ingrypings aan te beveel. Die huidige studie is uitgevoer binne die kwalitatiewe paradigma. In-diepte onderhoude, semi gestruktureerde vraelyste en fokusgroepe is aangewend vir data insameling. Data is ingesamel van vlugtelinge en asielsoekers van die Afrika Groot Mere streek wat in Durban woon en van twee VBT verskaffers in Durban. Die studie het 'n doelgerigte steekproefneming en 'n opportunistiese steekproefmetode gebruik. Vrees was die dominante versperring onder die deelnemers by die VBT. Dit sluit die vrees van die MIV-positiewe status as 'n doodsvonnis, die vrees van die stigma en diskriminasie sowel as die vrees vir verwerping in. Die studie het ook aan die lig gebring dat die besef dat daar geen kuur bestaan nie, lae-risiko persepsie aan die een kant en riskante seksuele gedrag aan die ander kant, wantroue in die departement van gesondheid, ongerieflike toetsure, ongerieflike VBT webwerwe, apatie, onkunde oor VBT, onsekerheid waar toetsing plaasvind, en die persepsie dat VBT duur was, was 'n paar van die belangrikste hindernisse tot suksesvolle VBT. Die studie het ook aangedui dat taal 'n hindernis vir toegang tot die VBT dienste en inligting in Durban is. Verder het die studie aan die lig gebring dat die afwesigheid van `n vlugteling-permit 'n struikelblok is tot VBT in Durban. Die studie het aanbeveel dat intervensies met die oogmerk om VBT onder die groep te verhoog, moet gefokus word op VBT bevordering en op die vermindering van MIV/VIGS verwante vrees, stigma en diskriminasie.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/20108
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