Nurses’ opinions about occupational HIV PEP services at a public hospital in Tshwane district, South Africa
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) was initially introduced as one of the strategies to prevent transmission of HIV infection through Blood and Body fluids (BBFs) of others. Health care workers (HCWs) in Sub-Saharan Africa, including South Africa where HIV prevalence is high, reported to be reluctant in reporting the exposures to BBFs or seek HIV PEP. This practice increases nurses’ exposure to infections such as HIV. The purpose of this study was to examine the views and opinions of nurses at a public hospital in Tshwane district, Gauteng Province, regarding the utilisation of occupational HIV PEP in order to improve the utilisation of these services. A quantitative approach was used to conduct a descriptive study, using the structured self-administered questionnaires consisting of both closed- and open-ended questions. The study population consisted of all nurses working in the emergency unit, maternity ward, intensive care unit (ICU) and operating theatre (OT) of the selected hospital for a peiod of at least three months. Systematic sampling was used to select 94 nurses who completed a structured questionnaire. STATA 13 software was used to analyze data. The nurses have various views and opinions about HIV PEP services and indicated that HCWs have needs that were not being met by the PEP service in their facility. It is recommended that nurses and other HCWs should be more involved in planning and management of health policies. There is also a need to improve and formalise existing ways through which HCWs can access the HIV PEP services.
Keywords: HCWs, HIV PEP, nurses.