Gerida Birukila 2007
To determine the knowledge, beliefs and attitudes towards VCT for HIV and factors which influence them.
Both qualitative and quantitative research methods were used in this study. Quantitative methods were used to gather the demographic characteristics of the study participants. In-depth interviews were used to collect the data on knowledge, beliefs and attitudes. A sample of 12 African migrants and refugees living in Christchurch area was recruited for the study. Participants came from West Africa (Ghana and Nigeria), East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania) and Southern Africa (Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe). Thematic analysis was used to identify factors influencing uptake of VCT.
Five main factors were identified as barriers to VCT. These factors are stigma, the association of HIV/AIDS with death, the lack of in-depth knowledge about HIV/AIDS, religion and confidentiality. Participants were not against VCT but were afraid of what would happen to them if they tested HIV positive. Participants lacked knowledge on HIV treatment and associated HIV positive diagnosis with death and the end of dreams.
Roots of stigma in African communities need to be addressed before implementing any successful VCT programmes.