Perceived Susceptibility of Persons with Physical Disability to Factors Contributing to the Risk of Contracting HIV in Cameroon: A Qualitative Study
International Journal of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Education and Behavioural Science
Volume 1, Issue 1, June 2015, Pages: 1-7
Received: May 22, 2015; Accepted: May 31, 2015; Published: Jun. 15, 2015
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Elvis E. Tarkang, Department of Population and Behavioural Science, School of Public Health, University of Health and Allied Sciences, Volta Region, Ghana
Prosper M. Lutala, School of Public Health and Family Medicine, University of Malawi, Blantyre, Malawi
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Persons with disabilities (PWDs) constitute about 15% of the world population and 5% of Cameroon population. Persons with physical disability have been identified as one of the vulnerable groups to HIV due to several challenges posed by their disability. They represent one of the largest and most underserved population, have an unmet needs for health including HIV services, and have historically been excluded from HIV planning and programming largely due to perceptions that they are not at risk. Further, there is scarcity of literature on HIV/AIDS relating to PWDs. Therefore, this study is aimed at investigating the perception of risk of contracting HIV among persons with physical disability in Cameroon. A qualitative study was conducted among ten persons with physical disability aged 18 years and above, selected purposively in Kumba (South West region of Cameroon), using in-depth interviews to collect data in April 2015. The participants perceived that persons with physical disability in Cameroon are at high risk of contracting HIV, because of poverty, sexual risk behaviours, low literacy levels and low likelihood or lack of marriage (singlehood). Policy-makers should provide subsidies for commodities with respect to persons with disabilities, empower them economically, and implement tight legislation against gender-based violence and rape towards people with disabilities. Special programmes targeting HIV prevention and treatment amongst this group is of utmost importance. Collaboration with the Cameroon Ministries of Social Affairs to better address their neglected social and economic needs is compelling.
Cameroon, Educational Level, HIV/AIDS, Perception of Risk, Persons with Physical Disability, Poverty
To cite this article
Elvis E. Tarkang, Prosper M. Lutala, Perceived Susceptibility of Persons with Physical Disability to Factors Contributing to the Risk of Contracting HIV in Cameroon: A Qualitative Study, International Journal of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Education and Behavioural Science. Vol. 1, No. 1, 2015, pp. 1-7. doi: 10.11648/j.ijhpebs.20150101.11
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