oa South African Family Practice - Acceptance and uptake of voluntary HIV testing among healthcare workers in a South African public hospital : original research



Healthcare workers are seen as being at the centre of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) management. They are also at risk of HIV infection from occupational exposure to blood-borne pathogens during their daily work activities. Although many studies on HIV/AIDS and its management have been carried out globally, only a few address HIV counselling and testing among healthcare workers. The aim of this study is to determine factors associated with the acceptance and uptake of voluntary HIV testing among healthcare workers in a public hospital in KwaZulu-Natal.

A cross-sectional quantitative descriptive survey was conducted among healthcare workers in a public hospital, by means of self-administered questionnaires. Written informed consent was obtained from each participant prior to participation in the study.
A response rate of 239 (59.4%) was achieved from a targeted population of 402 healthcare workers. Of the 239 participants, 208 (87.0%) indicated that they would accept having an HIV test, while 217 (90.7%) reported having had HIV counselling and testing. There were positive associations between participants' having had HIV counselling and testing and having a close relative living with HIV/AIDS (p-value = 0.032), previous accidental exposure to blood-borne pathogens (p-value = 0.003) and the number of years of their work experience (p-value = 0.0006). No significant associations were noted between participants who reported having undergone HIV counselling and testing in the previous year, and their demographic variables, such as age (0.766), gender (0.876), marital status (0.715), and knowledge of hospital policy on post-exposure prophylaxis (0.5669).
The findings of this study showed high levels of acceptance (208, 87.0%) and uptake (217, 90.7%) of HIV counselling and testing among healthcare workers in the designated public hospital. Several factors influenced this.


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