HIV/AIDS Distigmatisation at Work Place: More Than Comprehensive Knowledge Required
International Journal of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Education and Behavioural Science
Volume 3, Issue 6, December 2017, Pages: 63-69
Received: Nov. 20, 2017; Accepted: Dec. 1, 2017; Published: Jan. 8, 2018
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Authors
Mburu Samuel, School of Health Sciences, Kirinyaga University, Kerugoya, Kenya
Mutuku Irene, School of Health Sciences, Kirinyaga University, Kerugoya, Kenya
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Abstract
According to the National AIDS Control Council (NACC) of Kenya, Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV/AIDS) prevention starts and ends with behavior change and anything else comes in between. Importantly, “although antiretroviral therapy (ART) was working, countries will not be able to treat their way out of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, as it is not sustainable in the long run”. This highlights the critical role of healthy behavioral change, HIV status awareness, distigmatisation, stopping of new infection, inclusion of key populations, support groups and psychosocial support of people living with HIV (PLWH) in HIV/AIDS management and prevention strategies. Significantly, high levels of HIV/AIDS knowledge do not always translate to a positive behavior change. The purpose of this descriptive survey was to investigate the levels of HIV/AIDS knowledge, awareness, perceptions and attitudes towards the virus and PLWH among members of staff a public university in Kenya. This was a descriptive survey in which all the members of staff (due to the small population of only 288) were targeted as participants, issued with self-administered questionnaire, structured according to the NACC guidelines for public sector. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics with IBM SPSS version 22 software. Significantly, HIV/AIDS knowledge levels were adequately high as indicated by the 83% female and 69% male employees who strongly agreed that the risk of HIV infection can be reduced by having one uninfected partner. Similarly, 60% females, 58% males strongly disagreed that mosquitoes could transmit HIV, while 57% males, 63% females strongly disagreed that one could get HIV by sharing food with an infected person. However, despite the high HIV/AIDS knowledge, awareness levels, HIV- associated stigma (18% males & 10% females), ignorance of effectiveness of condom in prevention (10% females & 7% males) still persisted. Essentially, if these drawbacks are not decisively dealt with, they will reverse the gains so far achieved in the HIV/AIDS response. These findings are important in informing stakeholders, policy makers such as work place HIV/AIDS policy makers in formulation, implementation, designing healthy behavioral change, HIV status awareness, stopping of new infections, distigmatisation and preventive strategies in workplaces. This will have a direct impact on HIV/AIDS management, prevention and thus help in attainment of the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 3 on ensuring health for all, promoting well-being for all at all ages, 90-90-90 strategy and the Kenya’s vision 2030 of a HIV free country.
Keywords
HIV/AIDS, Attitudes, Perceptions, Awareness, Prevention, Distigmatisation, Behavior Change
To cite this article
Mburu Samuel, Mutuku Irene, HIV/AIDS Distigmatisation at Work Place: More Than Comprehensive Knowledge Required, International Journal of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Education and Behavioural Science. Vol. 3, No. 6, 2017, pp. 63-69. doi: 10.11648/j.ijhpebs.20170306.11
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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