Attitudes and barriers towards HIV screening: A qualitative study of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Malaysia

Ahmed, Syed Imran, Syed Sulaiman, Syed Azhar, Hassali, Mohamed Azmi , Thiruchelvam, Kaeshaelya, Hasan, Syed Shahzad and Lee, Christopher KC (2017) Attitudes and barriers towards HIV screening: A qualitative study of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in Malaysia. Journal of Infection Prevention, 18 (5). pp. 242-247. ISSN 1757-1774

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Understanding patients’ perspective towards HIV screening in Malaysia is pivotal to explore challenges faced by these individuals. This would be beneficial for developing local plans to improve the health-seeking behaviours among population at risk of HIV/AIDS.

A qualitative research methodology was adopted to explore HIV/AIDS patients’ views about disease screening. A semi-structured interview guide was used for in-depth patient interviews. All interviews were audio-recorded and were subjected to a standard content analysis framework for data analysis.

Most patients were positive about screening and the value of knowing about their status early. However, fear of social stigma, discrimination, lack of support system and lack of public understanding were identified as major concerns affecting their willingness to be screened. They were concerned about mandatory screening being implemented without improvement in support system and public education.

Reluctance to seek HIV screening is an important factor contributing to transmission in developing countries. In the Malaysian context, efforts should be made to strengthen screening strategies especially in the most-at-risk populations to monitor the epidemic and target prevention strategies.

Practice implications:
In a multicultural context, HIV preventive strategies must include disease awareness, including measure to tackle barriers towards screening.

Keywords:HIV/AIDS, disease screening, qualitative methods, patients' perspective, acceptance and barriers
Subjects:B Subjects allied to Medicine > B230 Pharmacy
Divisions:College of Science > School of Pharmacy
ID Code:43012
Deposited On:16 Nov 2020 11:47

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