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- SAHARA : Journal of Social Aspects of HIV / AIDS Research Alliance
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- Volume 1, Issue 3, 2004
SAHARA : Journal of Social Aspects of HIV / AIDS Research Alliance - Volume 1, Issue 3, 2004
Volume 1, Issue 3, 2004
Preventing mother-to-child transmission : factors affecting mothers' choice of feeding - a case study from Cameroon : original articleSource: SAHARA : Journal of Social Aspects of HIV / AIDS Research Alliance 1, pp 132 –138 (2004)More Less
This paper reports on factors influencing the decision of mothers regarding the type of feeding method for their babies in a rural setting in Cameroon. The aim of the study was to ascertain the proportion of mothers choosing the different methods of feeding, to determine the various factors influencing their choices, and to ascertain the relationships of these factors to their respective choices. Questionnaires were used on 108 HIV-positive mothers who had delivered babies and who were administered nevirapine at least 3 months prior to the study. A focus group discussion with mothers also took place. Findings were that more mothers (84%) chose breastfeeding than artificial feeding (16%), while a minority (4%) selected mixed feeding. Factors found to militate against artificial feeding were cost (69%), stigma (64%), family pressure (44%), inconvenience in preparation/administration (38%), prior education from health workers (23%), and loss of special attention from family (8%). On the other hand, advice of health worker (44%), ill health (19.5%), free milk (12.5%), job pressure (12.5%) and loss of beauty (12.5%) were found to militate against breastfeeding. A direct relationship was also found between age, educational level, income size, marital status and choice of feeding. Policies targeting stigma reduction and sociocultural factors affecting the choice of feeding are needed to optimise uptake of the less risky methods of feeding which could in turn contribute to a reduction in transmission.
Author Jacques-Philippe Tsala TsalaSource: SAHARA : Journal of Social Aspects of HIV / AIDS Research Alliance 1, pp 139 –156 (2004)More Less
HIV / AIDS infection has spread like wildfire in the countries of sub-saharan Africa. In order to fight that pandemic, Cameroon has organised itself by setting up, with the assistance of bilateral and multilateral partners, a national structure with the aim to reduce the spread of the disease. Two years after the launch of the National Plan for the Fight Against HIV / AIDS, an advocacy campaign targetting social leaders made it possible to assess the difficulties encountered by such an entity in a social and cultural environment as complex as that of Cameroon. The paper presents the initiatives taken by the government and analyses the major specific obstacles which are met on the ground. They include beliefs, social structures, gender issues, the status of women and the social representations of sexuality. If consensus and compromise are the usual ways of solving the problems raised at the national level, the analysis stresses the need for a more courageous political will adapted to the urgency of the prevailing situation.
Stigma, discrimination and the implications for people living with HIV / AIDS in South Africa : original articleSource: SAHARA : Journal of Social Aspects of HIV / AIDS Research Alliance 1, pp 157 –164 (2004)More Less
Stigma and discrimination play significant roles in the development and maintenance of the HIV epidemic. It is well documented that people living with HIV and AIDS experience stigma and discrimination on an ongoing basis. This impact goes beyond individuals infected with HIV to reach broadly into society, both disrupting the functioning of communities and complicating prevention and treatment of HIV. This paper reviews the available scientific literature on HIV / AIDS and stigma in South Africa, as well as press reports on the same subject over a period of 3 years. Analysis of this material indicates that stigma drives HIV out of the public sight, so reducing the pressure for behaviour change. Stigma also introduces a desire not to know one's own status, thus delaying testing and accessing treatment. At an individual level stigma undermines the person's identity and capacity to cope with the disease. Fear of discrimination limits the possibility of disclosure even to potential important sources of support such as family and friends. Finally, stigma impacts on behaviour change as it limits the possibility of using certain safer sexual practices. Behaviour such as wanting to use condoms could be seen as a marker of HIV, leading to rejection and stigma. All interventions need to address stigma as part of their focus. However, the difficulty of the task should not be underestimated, as has been shown by the persistence of discrimination based on factors such as race, gender and sexual orientation.
Source: SAHARA : Journal of Social Aspects of HIV / AIDS Research Alliance 1, pp 165 –174 (2004)More Less
According to anecdotal reports, AIDS stigma and discrimination continue to influence people living with and affected by HIV disease as well as their health care providers, particularly in southern Africa where the burden of AIDS is so significant. Stigma is perceived as a major limiting factor in primary and secondary HIV / AIDS prevention and care. It reportedly interferes with voluntary testing and counselling, and with accessing care and treatments, thereby increasing suffering and shortening lives. Many health care workers in southern Africa have come to the conclusion that unless stigma is conquered, the illness will not be defeated. While there is substantial anecdotal evidence of the impact of stigma on AIDS care, very little rigorous research has been conducted. This article explores three questions: What is AIDS stigma? What is the impact of AIDS stigma? How can health care providers help to manage AIDS stigma?
The meaning and challenge of voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) for counsellors : report of the Kenya Association of Professional Counsellors (KAPC) conference for sub-Saharan Africa : conference reportSource: SAHARA : Journal of Social Aspects of HIV / AIDS Research Alliance 1, pp 175 –181 (2004)More Less
A large number of voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) sites are being opened in sub-Saharan Africa. The services provided by these sites are playing an increasingly important role in the prevention of HIV / AIDS. The sites offer many possibilities and it is crucial that they provide the optimum services for clients. Counselling is an integral part of these services, yet it receives little attention. Counsellors need to be consulted if the optimum services are to be provided, but they are rarely consulted for their professional opinion. Accordingly, the Kenya Association of Professional Counsellors (KAPC) organised a 3-day conference in September 2002 to provide counsellors, drawn from the sub-Saharan region, with a forum to identify VCT-related issues and discuss their implications. The main aim of the conference was for counsellors to arrive at a consensual position regarding HIV / AIDS and what improvements they thought could be made for the VCT services to clients. The counsellors identified the issues that they considered important and this paper presents those issues together with recommendations regarding improvements.