Knowledge regarding HIV/AIDS among home-based caregivers in Namibia

Type Journal Article - Journal of Public Health in Africa
Title Knowledge regarding HIV/AIDS among home-based caregivers in Namibia
Volume 2
Issue 1
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2011
Page numbers e6
Lack of practical knowledge among home-based caregivers on human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), anti-retroviral therapy (ART) and poor individual adherence to treatment are among the root causes of ineffective ART service delivery in Namibia. The purpose of our study was to investigate the knowledge among home-based caregivers in Namibia regarding HIV/AIDS. The study was a descriptive, cross-sectional one in which 89 participants completed a self-administered questionnaire to assess their knowledge of HIV/AIDS. Almost all (93%) of the respondents gave a correct definition of HIV. Over a tenth (11.3%) did not know that HIV decreases the body's ability to fight disease and 33.7% could not define AIDS. Almost all (98%) the home-based caregivers knew that HIV can be diagnosed only through a blood test and 91% mentioned that consistent and correct use of condoms during sexual intercourse protects one from HIV infection. Fewer than half (44%) of the respondents could indicate on-and-off fever as a symptom of AIDS and 16% mentioned that increased body weight is a sign of AIDS, which is incorrect. Although the knowledge of the caregivers on HIV/AIDS was above average in some aspects, there was still lack of knowledge on isolated issues such as AIDS definitions and signs and how HIV works. Training organisations in home-based care settings should emphasise the knowledge of AIDS definition and signs as well as of post-test counselling, consequence of poor adherence and facilities that issue anti-retroviral treatment.

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