n Africa Journal of Nursing and Midwifery - Health care seeking behaviour of newly diagnosed HIV infected people from rural and urban communities in the North West Province of South Africa

Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1682-5055


Volunteers (n=1 999) who regarded themselves as healthy enrolled in the Prospective Urban and Rural Epidemiology (PURE-SA) study in the North West Province, of South Africa (SA) after giving signed consent. All the participants, with newly identified health problems, were immediately counselled and referred to the local health clinics or hospitals with a referral letter from the principal researcher. The aim of the research was to explore the health care seeking behaviour of the newly diagnosed HIV people, after having been referred to a health care facility a year earlier, and after having received pre- and post-test counselling.

Purposive voluntary sampling was conducted. Data were collected by means of a survey, followed by an in-depth interview specifically aimed at exploring the health care seeking behaviour of HIV infected persons in the North West Province. Each researcher wrote verbatim responses of the participants as well as, demographic, descriptive and reflective field notes during and after each interview. For the quantitative data in the survey, frequency and cross tabulations were performed. The verbatim responses and field notes were analysed using the open coding technique of content analysis.
Of the 1 999 participants in the PURE-SA baseline study 16.6% (332) who considered themselves to be healthy were diagnosed with HIV. Only 27.7% (n=92) of these 332 participants had actually sought medical care after post-test counselling and referral by a health professional. Three main aspects that influenced health care behaviour of the participants were : various forms of stigmatisation; aspects around the illness itself; poverty and other factors influencing access to health care services. Recommendations enhanced focus on stigma reduction, understanding of HIV, and factors to enhance access to health care facilities.

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