The effect of conducting workplace Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) on-site on VCT uptake

Neluheni, Tshiwela Phillipine (2005-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2005.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) has only fairly recently been recognised as an important entry point to HIV/AIDS prevention and care interventions e.g. entry point to accessing services available in a workplace HIV/AIDS management programmes, or prerequisite for other services like prevention of mother to child transmission (MTCT) programmes. VCT promotes risk assessment and risk reduction strategies for the individuals that have undergone pre- and post-test counselling. It provides benefits for both those that test HIV positive and those that test negative. This research study is based on VCT that is provided as part of a comprehensive workplace HIV/AIDS management programme. The success of VCT has highlighted the need for other care and support services for both the tested and the counsellors. With specific reference to the Alexander Forbes Direct Aids Intervention (DAI) programme, which was specially designed to assist companies manage and mitigate the impact and risk of HIV/AIDS on their workforce, VCT was initially only done off-site i.e. at doctors` rooms or pathology laboratories. The DAI VCT uptake remained unsatisfactorily low in the first year and six months post-inception of the programme, the need for the VCT strategy modification was acknowledged. VCT-on-site days (on the company premises) were scheduled and implemented at a number of companies that are on the DAI programme. The aim of this research study is to look at the possible advantageous effect of conducting workplace VCT-on-site on VCT uptake and the appropriate design for this investigation is the Before-After design. In the sampling, two experimental (E1, E2) and two control (C1, C2) groups are used to test the null hypothesis. E1 is a total of 600 employees from an IT company, and C1 is a total of about 600 employees from a pharmaceutical company. E2 and C2 both have populations of about 3000 employees. E2 is a cellular network service provider whilst C2 is a financial service company. VCT-on-site implementation was introduced at E1 and E2. For E1, VCT-on-site was conducted in May, November, December 2003, and March 2004 respectively, with no VCT-on-site conducted at C1. For E2, VCT-on-site was offered on monthly basis from June 2003 to April 2004 excluding January 2004, and none offered at C2. VCToff- site was available to all groups throughout the entire study period. Data was collected for a period of 12 months viz. from May 2003 to April 2004, in all companies. The statistical technique used was Chi Square (Shavelson, 1988) for both sets of experimental/control groups of 600 and 3000 respectively. The hypothesis was tested and there was a significant increase in VCT uptake after introducing workplace VCTon- site. The increase is as a result of the awareness raised through information imparted, the convenience, availability, and accessibility of the VCT services. The conclusion of the study based on the data presented is that workplace VCT-onsite well planned and properly executed undoubtedly increases the VCT uptake. A hypothesis for future further studies has been developed.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Vrywillige Voorligting en Toetsing (VVT) (soos tans veskaf word deur Alexander Forbes Direkte Vigs-intervensie Programme) is 'n relatief nuwe benadering to voorkoming en behandeling van MIV/Vigs. Die doelwit van hierdie studie is die bepaling van die doeltreffendheid van VVT by die werksplek. 'n Voor-en na-ontwerp is vir die studie gebruik met 600 werknemers van 'n farmaseutiese groep as eksperimentele groep en 3000 werknemers van 'n sellulêre netwerkverspreider as kontrolegroep. Die nul-hipotese wat getoets is was die postulaat dat VVT by die werksplek 'n beduidende beter opname van Anti-virale medikasie sou teweegbring. Chi-kwadraat is as ontledingstegniek gebruik. Resultate dui daarop dat daar 'n beduidende beter opnmame van Anri-virale medikasie is indien die VVT by die werkplek gedoen word. Die studie spel die implikasies van hierdie bevinding uit en maak voorstelle vir verdere studies om voort te bou op die belangrike bevindings van hierdie studie.

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