Knowledge and challenges of serodiscordant couples living among people with HIV/AIDS in the Cape Coast Metropolis
In Ghana, control and management of HIV/AIDS have been challenging due to the nature of the virus. Thus, this research was therefore conducted at the Cape Coast Teaching Hospital in the Central Region. The respondents were conveniently selected and interviewed on the HIV clinic day. Primary data were collected for the research. Firstly, the patients numbering 40 were asked questions on their background including gender, number of children and the status of the spouses with regard to HIV/AIDS. After identifying the HIV/AIDS patients an agreement was reached with them to contact their spouses. Their spouses were questioned on whether they knew the status of their spouses with regard to HIV/AIDS. Thirteen of them indicated that they knew and that their spouses were positive. The thirteen respondents were then used for the study; they were interviewed on their knowledge level of measures to prevent transmission and the challenges they face as sero-discordant spouses. Depression (51.4%) was the major challenge outlined by respondents followed by social isolation (37.1%). Despite these challenges the respondents exhibited relatively good knowledge on prevention measures as 69.2% resorted to the use of condoms and 92.3% did not share sharp objects. It was also revealed that there was no statistical significant difference in the knowledge levels of male and female sero-discordant spouses with regard to of HIV/ AIDS prevention measures. It was recommended that workshops should be developed for further training of counsellors and healthcare providers on issues that are related to sero-discordancy. Counsellors should also employ effective counselling techniques to aid sero-positive clients disclose their status to spouse to curb any HIV related violence at homes and in the communities.
Keywords: Knowledge, Challenges, Sero-discordant, HIV/AIDS, Metropolis