Integration of counseling and testing into family planning: Health providers' and clients' perceptions and acceptability
Presentation at the 5th International AIDS Society (IAS) Conference on HIV Pathogenesis, Treatment and Prevention, Cape Town, 22 July
Mosery,Nzwakie; Mullick,Saiqa; Menziwa,Mantshi; Khoza,Doctor; Maroga,Edwin
Publication date: 2009
South Africa is a country with the highest number of people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) in the world (HIV/AIDS Policy Fact Sheet 2005). Contraceptive use among women of reproductive age (15-49) is also high, at 65.3 percent (SADHS 2003), and many women get contraceptives in the public sector. Thus family planning services present an opportunity to reach a large number of sexually active women. Voluntary counseling and testing provides an entry point to treatment and care for HIV. However, uptake remains low, and many people do not know their HIV status because they have never been offered the test, owing to their fear of knowing their status, stigma, and assumed lack of confidentiality. The project aimed to document client and provider perceptions regarding the integration of information on prevention and counseling and testing (C&T) for HIV during family planning consultations.
This presentation will focus on findings from focus group discussions with providers and clients on feasibility, acceptability, and some of the challenges and considerations of integration of FP and HIV services.
This paper will highlight providers' opinions and perceptions on the integration of C&T into FP services, the type of clients to be offered C&T, why clients do not test for HIV, whether clients disclose their HIV status, and use of dual protection, how they feel about discussing issues of sexuality, including contraceptive use for women on antiretroviral therapy. Client focus group discussions will highlight perceptions about integration of C&T into FP consultation, quality FP services, privacy of consultation, discussing sexual issues with provider, condom use by married couples, and preferred place to test for HIV.
The results showed that integration of HIV services into FP was acceptable to both clients and providers and gave valuable insights into needs, challenges, and perceptions that integrated interventions need to address.