Knowledge and attitudes about HIV infection and prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV in an urban, low income community in Durban, South Africa: Perspectives of residents and health care volunteers
Background: HIV prevalence is high among South African women of reproductive age and transmission of HIV from mothers to children is a concern. This study ascertained the level of knowledge about HIV infection and prevention, particularly prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT) amongst South African women from a low income community. It also established the challenges in delivering HIV education from the perspectives of health care volunteers.
Method: Female residents (n ¼ 67) from Kenneth Gardens, a low income community in Durban, South Africa were interviewed. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with 12 health care volunteers who were either health care workers or residents who provided some form of social support in the community.
Results: The majority of respondents indicatedthatamothercouldtransmitHIVtoher childbut wereunable to specify how. Many women had general HIV/AIDS knowledge but were unable to identify essential prevention behaviours and were not very receptive to more information on HIV/AIDS. Theywere supportive of routine testing procedures and child bearing amongst HIV positive women. Health care volunteers indicated a need for a community clinic in the area. They also had limited knowledge of PMTCT and indicated that there was a need for more education on HIV, particularly to encourage the youth andmen to use preventativemeasures.
Conclusion: Innovative ways to impart knowledge particularly of PMTCT and updated standards of practice are essential. It is important that the community understands how transmission occurs so that prevention can follow.
The author(s) retain copyright on work published by AOSIS unless specified otherwise.
Licensing and publication rights
Author(s) of work published by AOSIS are required to grant AOSIS the unlimited rights to publish the definitive work in any format, language and medium, for any lawful purpose. AOSIS requires journal authors to publish their work in open access under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) licence.
The authors retain the non-exclusive right to do anything they wish with the published article(s), provided attribution is given to the applicable journal with details of the original publication, as set out in the official citation of the article published in the journal. The retained right specifically includes the right to post the article on the authors’ or their institution’s websites or in institutional repositories.
Previously published work may have been published under a different licence. We advise the community that if they would like to reuse the work to consult the applicable licence at article level.
Note: If you need to comply with your funding body policy, you can apply for the CC BY license after your manuscript is accepted for publication.