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An exploratory study of HIV-prevention advocacy by persons in HIV care in Uganda

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Abstract:

To explore how people living with HIV (PLHIV) and in care encourage others to adopt HIV-protective behaviours, we conducted in-depth interviews with a purposive sample of 40 HIV clinic patients in Kampala, Uganda. Content analysis was used to examine the message content, trigger events, and outcomes of HIV-prevention advocacy events initiated by the HIV clients with members of their social networks. The content themes included encouraging specific behaviours, such as HIV testing and treatment, condom use and non-promiscuity, as well as more general cautionary messages about protecting oneself from HIV infection. Common triggers for bringing up HIV-prevention advocacy information in a discussion or conversation included: wanting to prevent the targeted person from ‘falling into the same problems,’ wanting to benefit oneself with regard to avoiding re-infection, out of concern that the target would engage in higher-risk behaviour, due to observed changes in the target's health, and to convey information after receiving treatment at the clinic. The participants mostly reported positive or neutral responses to these advocacy events; negative responses were rare. Interventions to empower PLHIV to be agents of change could represent a new frontier for HIV prevention.

Keywords: Africa; communication; disclosure; qualitative research; risk behaviour; sexual behaviour; social networks

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2989/16085906.2011.646658

Affiliations: 1: Makerere University, Infectious Diseases Institute, PO BOX 22418, Kampala, Uganda 2: The RAND Corporation, 1776 Main StreetSanta Monica,California,90407, United States

Publication date: December 1, 2011

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