Acceptability, feasibility and challenges of implementing an HIV prevention intervention for people living with HIV/AIDS among healthcare providers in Mozambique: results of a qualitative study

Prafulta Jaiantilal, Sarah A Gutin, Beverley Cummings, Francisco Mbofana, Carol Dawson Rose
SAHARA J: Journal of Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS Research Alliance 2015, 12: 2-9
Despite the Mozambique government's efforts to curb human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), national prevalence is 11.5% and support is needed to expand HIV-related services and improve program quality. Positive prevention (PP) programs, which prioritize HIV prevention with people living with HIV and AIDS (PLHIV), have been recognized as an important intervention for preventing new HIV infections. To address this, an evidence-based PP training intervention was implemented with HIV healthcare providers in Mozambique. This study focuses on the acceptability and feasibility of a PP intervention in HIV clinics from the healthcare provider perspective. In-depth interviews were conducted with 31 healthcare providers from three provinces who participated in PP trainings in Mozambique. Interview data were coded using content analysis. Study data suggest that healthcare providers found PP acceptable, feasible to implement in their HIV work in clinic settings, and valued this strategy to improve HIV prevention. The PP training also led providers to feel more comfortable counseling their patients about prevention, with a more holistic approach that included HIV testing, treatment and encouraging PLHIV to live positively. While overall acceptance of the PP training was positive, several barriers to feasibility surfaced in the data. Patient-level barriers included resistance to disclosing HIV status due to fear of stigma and discrimination, difficulty negotiating for condom use, difficulty engaging men in testing and treatment, and the effects of poverty on accessing care. Providers also identified work environment barriers including high patient load, time constraints, and frequent staff turnover. Recognizing PP as an important intervention, healthcare providers should be trained to provide comprehensive prevention, care and treatment for PLHIV. Further work is needed to explore the complex social dynamics and cultural challenges such as gender inequalities, stigma and discrimination which hinder the full impact of PP interventions in this context.

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