MPhil study projects

Reducing HIV-related stigma and increasing access to voluntary counselling and testing

Student: Juliane Tamen Nana
Country: South Africa

The global battle against HIV/Aids, predominantly affecting Sub-Saharan Africa, has spurred various intervention programmes worldwide, including HIV testing and counselling (HTC) and treatment services, often extended to remote areas through mobile clinics. Utilisation of these services however remains suboptimal due to factors like stigma, particularly in impoverished communities with limited access to information.

This study was conducted in a low-income community northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa, aiming to explore HIV/Aids prevalence and the impact of knowledge on stigma and voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) uptake. Utilising publicly available data, literature reviews and voluntary participation, the study hypothesised that increased HIV knowledge would reduce stigma and increase VCT uptake, while lack of HIV knowledge would amplify stigma and lead to decreased VCT uptake. Employing a qualitative methodology, the study surveyed 99 participants aged 18 to 65 in Cosmo City Extension 2, shedding light on the dynamics between HIV knowledge, stigma and VCT uptake in this community.