African and Caribbean nurses’ decisions about HIV testing: a mixed methods study
Harrowing, Jean N.
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Nurses in Jamaica, Kenya, South Africa, and Uganda are at risk for occupational exposure to HIV. Little is known about the experiences and policy supports related to nurses having themselves tested for the virus. This article reports a mixed-methods study about contextual influences on nurses’ decision-making about HIV testing. Individual and focus group interviews, as well as a questionnaire on workplace polices and quality assurance and a human resource management assessment tool provided data. Fear of a positive diagnosis and stigma and lack of confidentiality along with gaps in the policy environment contributed to indecision about testing. There were significant differences in policy supports among countries. Institutional support must be addressed if improvements in HIV testing for health care workers are going to be effectively implemented. Future work is required to better understand how HRM policies intersect to create conditions of perceived vulnerability for HIV positive staff