HIV Voluntary Counselling and Testing in Namibia: Status, Successes, and Barriers

  •  Daniel Opotamutale Ashipala    
  •  Esther Kamenye    
  •  Frans Muronga    
  •  Len Tooley    


Voluntary Counselling and Testing is one of the strategies to respond to the increasing number of Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) new infections. The purpose of this study was to assess the current status of HIV Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) in Rundu urban and identify the barriers to fully effective service.The objectives of the study was to identify the barriers that prevents effective HIV Voluntary Counselling and testing services; asses its success and determine its status in urban, Namibia. A qualitative explorative and descriptive design was employed in this study where all health care and HIV/AIDS professionals including hospital nurses, employees and New Start VCT Centres, and representatives from relevant NGOs, Community-Based Organizations (CBOs), and the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS)providing Voluntary Counselling services in Rundu urban in Namibia were interviewed. In this study, in depth individual interview structured in accordance with interview guide was used. Content analysis method was employed to analyze the data. Themes that emerged from this study includes: Fear of a positive results (stigma that accompanies seropositivity) and lacks of perceived benefit to getting tested. In addition, financial barriers affecting the poorest populations in Rundu. To increase access and relevance of VCT services, it is recommended that the Ministry of Health and Social Services should develop more detailed counselling guidelines and increase the scope of counselling by addressing the inadequacies of current risk reduction. Despite these hopeful possibilities a number of barriers remains before VCT can be fully effective.

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