MPhil study projects

Investigating the factors contributing to low HIV testing and treatment uptake among employees at Bakery A in Oshakati, Northern Namibia

Student: Samson Ndhlovu

Country: Zimbabwe

The research explored the factors influencing low HIV testing and counselling among male bakery employees. The quantitative study conducted a census sampling of 52 employees in Oshakati, Namibia. There were two primary objectives: to discern the factors behind males’ reluctance to engage with HIV testing and related activities and to propose strategies to enhance participation.

Findings indicated that male employees were aware of HIV testing and related activities at the bakery but exhibited reluctance to utilise associated services despite adequate HIV knowledge. Stigma emerged as a predominant barrier to combatting HIV/Aids at Bakery A, compounded by societal expectations of male strength and protector roles in the family. Healthcare workers’ attitudes further deterred males from accessing testing and counselling services, alongside concerns regarding privacy, confidentiality and lack of incentives.

Recommendations included campaigns promoting male involvement in HIV/Aids initiatives, especially over weekends. Collaboration with local health facilities and establishment of men-friendly clinics were also suggested. The study recommended organisational efforts to combat stigma through policy implementation and employee training, alongside enhancing collaboration with local hospitals and providing attitude and service provision training to healthcare workers.