Factors influencing HIV positive individuals attending anti-retroviral therapy (ARV) clinic at Katutura Hospital (Windhoek, Namibia) to disclose or not to disclose their HIV status to their sexual partners
Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: There have been new infections of HIV despite campaigns aimed at arresting the further spread of the epidemic particularly the new infections. This study sought to investigate whether HIV positive individuals disclose their status to their sexual partners. The study looked at both longtime partners and casual partners. The overall aim was to find the factors that contribute to non-disclosure or to disclosure to sexual partners by HIV positive individuals. The specific objectives were to identify prevailing levels of HIV sero-status disclosure among people living with HIV who were attending the ARV clinic; to identify people living with HIV’s attitude towards HIV status disclosure; to establish factors contributing to disclosure or non-disclosure among people living with HIV; to establish if there is a difference between disclosure rates between ‘long time’ sex partners and casual/’once-off’ sex partners and to provide guidelines to counsellors on how to educate HIV positive people on disclosure. The objectives were achieved by using a quantitative research design through the use of questionnaires targeting 50 HIV positive individuals attending the ARV clinic at Katutura Hospital in Windhoek Namibia. The questionnaire was self-administered and consisted of close-ended questions and one open-ended question which helped collect the quantitative data. The quantitative data was then analyzed using statistical tools (graphs, tables and charts). Results showed that HIV positive individuals are aware of the importance of disclosure. The results showed that majority of the participants did not disclose for fear of abandonment. Some did not disclose because they thought that their partner was also already infected. As for casual sex partners, some did not disclose because they wanted ‘to infect someone since they were also infected by someone’. Some said that they were drunk and hence did not disclose. Participants disclosed because they wanted moral support, they did not want to infect their partners and that they wanted their partners to get tested as well. One of the recommendations was that there is a need to encourage couple counselling in cases of married couples or ‘live-in’ couples to reduce the need for disclosure. It was also recommended that HIV/AIDS health workers need special training to enhance their skills on how to educate HIV positive individuals about disclosure. The link between risky sexual behavior and alcohol abuse was highlighted and it was recommended that there is a need to educate people, particular teenagers, the link between the two.
AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie studie was die bepaling van die mate waartoe persone wat MIV-positief is en klinieke bywoon hulle MIV-status bekendmaak. Die studie is by die Katutura hospitaal in Windhoek, Namibië gedoen en 50 MIV-positiewe pasiënte is as steekproef gebruik. ‘n Vraelys wat die pasiënte self ingevul het is in die studie gebruik en data is op ‘n beskrywende wyse ontleed. Resultate het aangetoon dat MIV-positiewe pasiënte wel bewus is van die belangrikheid om hulle MIV-status bekend te maak. Laasgenoemde pasiënte doen dit egter nie, hoofsaaklik uit vrees vir stigma, diskriminasie en verwerping. Sommige pasiënte maak ook nie hulle status bekend nie omdat hulle bloot aanvaar dat die persoon met wie hulle saambly ook MIV-positief is en die bekendmaking van status dus onbelangrik is. Een van die belangrikste aanbevelings wat in die studie gemaak word is dat getroude paartjies aangemoedig moet word om MIV-voorligting by te woon, hulle te laat toets en hulle status bekend te maak. Dit word ook verder aanbeveel dat MIV/Vigs-gesondheidswerkers spesiale opleiding moet kry in hoe om persone wat MIV-positief is te oorreed om hulle MIV-status bekend te maak. Die studie sluit af deur te wys op die belangrike verwantskap tussen seksuele risikogedrag en die misbruik van alkohol. Daar word sterk gepleit dat die gemeenskap, en veral tienderjariges, bewus gemaak moet word van hierdie gevaar.