Knowledge regarding HIV/AIDS among home-based caregivers in Namibia

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Hileni Niikondo
Muhammad E. Hoque *
Busi Ntuli-Ngcobo
(*) Corresponding Author:
Muhammad E. Hoque | Muhammad_Hoque@embanet.com

Abstract

Lack of practical knowledge among home-based caregivers on human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS), anti-retroviral therapy (ART) and poor individual adherence to treatment are among the root causes of ineffective ART ser­vice delivery in Namibia. The purpose of our study was to investigate the knowledge among home-based caregivers in Namibia regarding HIV/AIDS. The study was a descriptive, cross-sectional one in which 89 participants completed a self-administered questionnaire to assess their knowledge of HIV/AIDS. Almost all (93%) of the respondents gave a correct definition of HIV. Over a tenth (11.3%) did not know that HIV decreases the body’s ability to fight disease and 33.7% could not define AIDS. Almost all (98%) the home-based caregivers knew that HIV can be diagnosed only through a blood test and 91% mentioned that consistent and correct use of condoms during sexual intercourse protects one from HIV infection. Fewer than half (44%) of the respondents could indicate on-and-off fever as a symptom of AIDS and 16% mentioned that increased body weight is a sign of AIDS, which is incorrect. Although the knowledge of the caregivers on HIV/AIDS was above average in some aspects, there was still lack of knowledge on isolated issues such as AIDS definitions and signs and how HIV works. Training organisations in home-based care settings should emphasise the knowledge of AIDS definition and signs as well as of post-test counselling, consequence of poor adherence and facilities that issue anti-retroviral treatment.

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Article Details

Author Biographies

Hileni Niikondo, University of Namibia

School of Nursing and Public Health, University of Namibia (Northern Campus), Namibia

Muhammad E. Hoque, University of Limpopo

Department of Public Health,

School of Health Care Sciences

University of Limpopo (Medunsa Campus)

South Africa

Busi Ntuli-Ngcobo, University of Limpopo

Department of Public Health,

School of Health Care Sciences

University of Limpopo (Medunsa Campus)