Perceptions of youth about voluntary confidential counselling and testing (VCCT) for HIV and AIDS
Motiki, Zodwa Deborah
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The total number of HIV infections in South Africa is expected to increase well into the next decade. Infections will continue to increase, especially among the youth until society appreciates the extent of the epidemic, and people alter their behaviour and their response to those people who are infected and affected (LoveLife, 2001: 4). Programmes aimed at changing sexual behaviour have often been successful in other countries like Uganda, Kenya. Early diagnosis through Voluntary Confidential Counselling and Testing (VCCT) for HIV / AIDS with intensive education and support has been reported to be successful in changing sexual behaviour. The researcher conducted a qualitative study at a secondary school in Mangaung Municipality at the Motheo District. The purpose of the study was to: • Explore and describe the perceptions of the youth on Voluntary Confidential Counselling and Testing for HIV / AIDS. • EMake recommendations to influence HIV/AIDS policies. The study used the explorative, descriptive, contextual and qualitative designs to explore the perceptions of the youth about VCCT on HIV/AIDS. A pilot study was conducted first before the main study in order to: • Test the research question for ambiguity, clarity and researchability. • Detect and correct problems with the design, which would interfere with the data collection of the main study. • Refine the data collection and analysis plan. • Give the researcher experience with the participants, setting and method of measurement. Data collection was done using focus group interviews. Four focus group interviews were conducted at the participants' setting. The credibility of this study was assured by using a skilled moderator to conduct the interviews, who is also a Masters Degree student. The study leader, who has a PhD in Nursing and is the Head of the Research Unit in the School of Nursing was a eo-coder and supervised the data collection process. Participants had to respond to an open-ended question: "What is your perception about Voluntary Confidential Counselling and Testing (VCCT) for HIV and AIDS?" The data collected was analyzed according to the KAPB-model (knowledge, attitude, practice and beliet). The KAPB-model is commonly used to measure perceptions. The KAPB Model was derived from the Health Belief Model which was proposed in the 1960s as a framework for exploring why people who are illness-free take actions to avoid illness while others fail to take protective actions. KAPB studies are based on an assumption that simple knowledge e.g. HIV/AIDS is sexually transmitted and that it kills will lead to attitude and behaviour change (Morna and Lush, 2003: Online). The purpose of data analysis was to discover categories, sub-categories and themes related to the perceptions of the youth about VCCT. Two main broad categories were identified namely positive and negative. The positive and negative comments were further classified under the sub-categories. Related themes that emerged from the data were grouped together and were fitted under relevant sub-categories (knowledge, attitudes, practices and beliefs). The subcategories and themes such as must test, know your status, self concept, behaviour change and factors influencing the spread of HIV / AIDS were repeated until the saturation point was reached. Recommendations were made to the Departments of Education and Health.