Factors influencing delayed HIV testing : a client perspective
Chonco, Siziwe Teressa
MetadataShow full item record
Background South Africa, especially KwaZulu-Natal remains heavily burdened with HIV and AIDS. Timely HIV testing is the cornerstone to HIV prevention in terms of early diagnosis and access to treatment, care and support services. Factors that influence delayed HIV testing must be investigated and reported to inform plans that are directed at improving implementation of HIV testing services and access to care, treatment and support services for people living with HIV. Purpose of the study This study was aimed at identifying factors that lead to delayed HIV testing in a sample of people attending a Primary Health Care clinic in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Methodology A descriptive qualitative design was used in this study. The population in this study was HIV positive patients who had recently tested for HIV and received their first CD4 count result of 350 mm3 or less. Purposive sampling, which is a type of non-probability sampling, was used to select the study participants from the population. Semi structured interviews using an interview schedule were used to collect data. Data was collected until data saturation was reached. Results The data was analysed by means of content analysis and raw data was coded and sorted into sub categories and categories. The underlying meaning of categories was formulated into one overarching theme: Testing for HIV is daunting and embedded with issues of stigma, denial and a fear of knowing one’s positive status. Conclusion To encourage early HIV testing before HIV positive people become noticeably ill requires efforts directed at change of attitude and improvement of support for HIV positive people in families, communities and health service institutions. Community forums to be actively involved in eliminating the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV positive people by creating awareness of these matters and encouraging community and family support for people with HIV.