Original Research

“To know or not to know”: Service-related barriers to Voiuntary HIV Counseling and Testing (VCT) in South Africa

A. C. van Dyk, P. J. van Dyk
Curationis | Vol 26, No 1 | a1289 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/curationis.v26i1.1289 | © 2003 A. C. van Dyk, P. J. van Dyk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 27 March 2003 | Published: 27 March 2003

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A. C. van Dyk,, South Africa
P. J. van Dyk,, South Africa

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Voluntary HIV Counselling and Testing (VCT) is still in its infancy in South Africa, and although the necessary infrastructure in terms of clinics and hospitals exists, a VCT culture is not yet established in the country. The purpose of this study was to determine the needs, attitudes and beliefs of a sample of South Africans towards VCT, and to investigate possible barriers affecting participation in VCT programs in South Africa. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to survey the views of 1422 people. Results indicate that while subjects were not opposed to VCT in principle, 33% would go to clinics where nobody would know them. The following problems with VCT services were mentioned: Logistical problems (not enough counsellors, long lines, lack of privacy); no trust in the health care system or fearing a breach of confidentiality; fear of rejection; and a lack of follow-up support after diagnosis. Suggestions are made on how to improve VCT services in South Africa.


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1. A systematic review of qualitative findings on factors enabling and deterring uptake of HIV testing in Sub-Saharan Africa
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