Health care users’ knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of HIV self-testing at selected gateway clinics at eThekwini district, KwaZulu-Natal province, South Africa
Progress in promoting knowledge of HIV status has been made globally, but half of all people living with HIV are still unaware of their HIV status. It is argued the new innovative HIV selftesting strategy could increase the uptake of HIV testing among the people. The aim of the study was to assess outpatients’ health care user’s knowledge, attitudes and perceptions towards HIV self-testing (HIVST) at selected Gateway clinics at eThekwini District, KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa. The objectives of the study were to determine health care users’ knowledge of HIVST, assess health care users’ attitudes and perceptions towards HIVST and establish if there is any relationship between knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of health
care users towards HIVST. A quantitative, non-experimental descriptive design was used to determine knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of health care users at three purposefully selected Addington, R. K. Khan and Prince Mshiyeni Memorial Hospital Gateway clinics at eThekwini Health District. A convenience sampling of 442 respondents were sampled from the three study sites. Results of the study revealed that health care users had a reasonable knowledge of HIV self-testing and there were indications that they could use it if it can be made freely available to the public and be properly regulated. Generally, health care users indicated positive attitudes towards HIV self-testing. Nevertheless, issues of lack of pre and post-test counselling, false negative results and sale of unregulated testing kits seemed to be issues of concern that require addressing if HIV self-testing is to be promulgated in South Africa.
Keywords: HIV self-testing; oral HIV testing; South Africa