Health behaviour change of people living with HIV after a comprehensive community-based HIV stigma reduction intervention in North-West Province in South Africa
Chidrawi, H. Christa
Temane, Q. Michael
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All over the world, health behaviour is considered a complex, far reaching and powerful phenomenon. People’s lives are influenced by their own or others’ health behaviour on a daily basis. Whether it has to do with smoking, drinking, pollution, global warming or HIV management, it touches lives and it challenges personal and community responses. Health behaviour, and health behaviour change, probably holds the key to many a person’s immediate or prolonged life or death outcomes. The same can be said about communities, culture groups and nations. This SANPAD-funded study focused on research questions relating to health behaviour change for people living with HIV (PLWH) in the North-West Province in South Africa. It investigated whether a comprehensive community-based HIV stigma reduction intervention caused health behaviour change in PLWH. An quantitative single system research design with one pre- and four repetitive post-tests utilizing purposive sampling was used to test change-over-time in the health behaviour of 18 PLWH. The results of the study indicated statistical and/or practical significant change-over-time. The intervention not only addressed the health behaviour of PLWH, but also their HIV stigma experiences, HIV signs and symptoms and their quality of life in the context of being HIV positive. The recommendations include popularization of the comprehensive community-based HIV stigma reduction intervention and extending it to include a second intervention to strengthen health behaviour and quality of life for PLWH in the community at large.