MPhil study projects

Exploring factors behind low HIV testing rates by male adults age 15 years and above in Andara district, Namibia

Student: Olivia Simango

Country: Zimbabwe

The study investigated the factors contributing to decreased HIV testing among males aged 15 and above in Andara district, Namibia. Using a quantitative research design with purposive sampling, data was collected through close-ended questionnaires.

Results indicated that men exhibited a strong understanding of HIV testing, HIV/Aids and the benefits of knowing their status, all crucial for prevention and control. Barriers such as ignorance, stigma, fear of test outcomes and reluctance to undergo lifelong ARV treatment were identified, impeding HIV testing uptake and prevention efforts. The study underscored the need to enhance health education for men on HIV-related issues and develop tailored strategies to address their testing needs.

The recommendations included proximity of services to men’s social gatherings, targeted campaigns and testing at homes and schools. It also proposed enhancing healthcare workers’ counselling skills to tackle HIV-related stigma. The study highlighted gaps in addressing stigma, ignorance and fear surrounding HIV testing among men, urging the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) to introduce additional measures, with proposed solutions focusing on accessibility, awareness and healthcare provider training.