Patients Consulting Traditional Health Practioners In The Context Of Hiv/Aids In Urban Areas In Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa
The purpose of this study is to assess patients consulting full-time traditional health practitioners (THPs) and the practice of THPs after they had been trained on Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/ Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) prevention and care. The sample included 222 patients interviewed when exiting a THP\'s practice (n=17) in purposefully chosen two urban sites in KwaZulu-Natal. Results indicate that at post training evaluation the majority of the THPs were involved in HIV/STI management and most had low levels of HIV risk practices at the workplace. Major self-reported reasons for consulting the THP included a complex of supernatural or psychosocial problems, chronic conditions, acute conditions, generalized pain, HIV and other STIs. Overall, patients including HIV positive (n=18) patients had moderate knowledge of Antiretroviral Therapy (ART). A number of HIV positive patients were using traditional medicine and ART concurrently, dropped out of ART because of side effects and were using traditional medicine for HIV.
Keywords: Patients, traditional health practitioners, HIV/AIDS management, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
African Journal of Trad, Comp and Alternative Medicine Vol. 5 (4) 2008: pp. 370-379
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