African Journal of AIDS Research

Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads.

Remember me or Register

DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT Open Access  DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT Subscription or Fee Access

Do challenges still exist amongst HIV/AIDS patients in managing their condition? A cross-sectional study of 297 participants in the Ethekwini Metro of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

Panjasaram Naidoo, Rayanta Premdutt


Background: South Africa has the largest HIV/AIDS epidemic globally and the largest anti-retroviral treatment (ART) programme in the world, yet HIV incidence is still chronically high in South Africa, especially in KwaZulu-Natal province (KZN). In light of this, a study was conducted to investigate the extent of challenges making the management of HIV/AIDS difficult in people living with HIV (PLWH) in KZN, South Africa.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out with 297 study participants living with HIV and receiving ART from three selected clinics in the Ethekwini Metro of KZN. A self-administered questionnaire assessed the challenges experienced by PLWH, their knowledge of their condition and their management thereof. One-way
frequency tables were used to descriptively assess participant responses. Associations between certain demographic characteristics and responses to HIV treatment management challenges were assessed using chi-square tests, with statistical significance set at p < 0.05.

Results: One-fifth of the participants (n = 60; 20.1%) were within the 18–23 age group, with over 53% (n = 158) having secondary level education. Some of the challenges cited included: difficulty in obtaining medication, mainly due to cost; side effects resulting in non-adherence; shame for taking medication in public (younger patients were more likely to feel ashamed for taking their medication in public [χ2 = 20.3, p = 0.009]); and non-disclosure of HIV-positive status to partners. We found a significant association between education and financial status and management of their condition [χ2 = 11.2, p = 0.011].

Conclusion: These findings that challenges still exist have implications for more robust programmes on education and counselling to address such challenges.

Keywords: financial costs, eThekwini Metro, knowledge, side effects, stigma, non-disclosure, challenges, HIV/AIDS

AJOL African Journals Online