Die swanger vrou se keuse tot MIV-toetsing / I. Gerrits
The prevalence of HIV infection in pregnant women is still on the rise despite existing preventive programmes aimed at reducing HIV-transmission. Voluntary counselling and testing during pregnancy is the key entry point in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (Department of Health, 2000:16; Birdsall et al. 2004:3). Women are often diagnosed as being HIV-positive for the first time when they attend antenatal clinics and consent to HIV testing (UNAIDS, 1997). The objective of this study was to determine the pregnant women's experiences of voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) and to explore and describe the impeding and facilitating factors that played a role in their choice whether or not to consent to HIV testing after having received pre-test counselling. By understanding the impeding and facilitating factors that play a role in the pregnant woman's choice to undergo HIV testing, recommendations could be made to possibly improve the uptake of HIV testing among pregnant women. The population studied in this research consisted of pregnant women making use of antenatal clinics in the Potchefstroom sub-district. Purposive sampling was used to select participants with the assistance of mediators who were working in the local clinics and the hospital. The sample size was determined by data saturation, which was reached after 10 interviews. A qualitative design was used and data was collected by means of semi-structured interviews. Data analysis was carried out simultaneously with data collection. In consensus discussions, the researcher and the co-coder reached consensus on the main and sub-themes. The main themes are the facilitating and impeding factors that play a role in the pregnant women's choice to undergo HIV testing. Based on findings, it was concluded that facilitating and impeding factors that play a role in the pregnant woman's choice to HIV testing do indeed exist. Impeding factors identified were: fear of a positive status; fear of stigmatization and discrimination; fear of lack of support; lack of opportunity to consider their choice to undergo HIV testing; lack of trust that confidentiality will indeed be honoured; fear of knowing possible positive HIV-status that can lead to feelings of depression and mental anguish; differences between counsellors' and pregnant women's characteristics. Facilitating factors consist of the desire to be aware of own HIV status; desire to protect the baby; sufficient information and the importance of trust and confidentiality. Recommendations were subsequently made to make HIV counselling and testing services to pregnant women more user-friendly in order to facilitate the pregnant woman in her choice concerning HIV-testing. Heeding these recommendations will possibly lead to more pregnant women's HIV status being known by the time they go into labour. Recommendations were made that pregnant women be counselled for HIV testing during their first antenatal visit and the HIV-testing being offered to them during the second visit. Research findings reveal that most pregnant women need time to consider their choice to undergo HIV testing and to prepare themselves for the test. Most pregnant women felt that they would possibly consent to HIV testing during their second antenatal visit.
- ETD@PUK