Original Research

People living with AIDS/HIV in Botswana: a needs assessment

A. Zuyderduin, V.J. Ehlers, D.M. van der Wal
Curationis | Vol 30, No 3 | a1098 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v30i3.1098 | © 2007 A. Zuyderduin, V.J. Ehlers, D.M. van der Wal | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 September 2007 | Published: 28 September 2007

About the author(s)

A. Zuyderduin, Department of Nursing, Aga Khan University, Kampala, Uganda
V.J. Ehlers, Department of Health Studies, University of South Africa, South Africa
D.M. van der Wal, Department of Health Studies, University of South Africa, South Africa

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Abstract

A deficit in information and knowledge regarding people living with AIDS in Botswana, hampering health care planning and satisfactory health care delivery to these people, necessitated the needs assessment reported on in this paper. Not only did self-imposed alienation and societal levels of stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS force many people living with AIDS/HIV (PLWAH) into silence and denial of their HIV+ve diagnosis, thereby creating knowledge and information deficits. These same factors also pose challenges for conducting a needs assessment among these persons. Consequently, a 73 item questionnaire was administered to a convenience sample of 39 male and 77 female PLWAH in Botswana. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs served as a general theoretical point of departure for the needs analysis and the 73 items represented needs at all levels of this hierarchy. Analysis of the data indicates that 65% of the respondents lived in urban areas. The majority of individuals (42%) were tested for HIV because they became ill, while 28% did so voluntarily. Other reasons for testing were: child becoming ill, partner becoming ill, being pregnant and having been raped. Only 7% indicated that their HIV status had been disclosed to other persons. With regards to love and belongingness 70% of the respondents indicated that they were not in an intimate relationship, nearly one third experienced multiple deaths within their families due to AIDS, 61% had access to a support group, and 48% had not informed their parents about their HIV+ve status. Stigmatisation weighed down self-esteem. Despite the deficiencies in the fulfilment of safety, belonging

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