SAHARA-J : Journal of Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS, published by Taylor and Francis Group on behalf of SAHARA, disseminates vital open access research on social factors relating to HIV/AIDS. Areas covered include care, support, behaviour change, behavioural surveillance, counselling, impact, mitigation, stigma, discrimination, prevention, treatment, adherence, culture, faith-based approaches, evidence-based intervention, health communication, structural and environmental intervention, financing, policy, media and more.


The library contains articles of Sahara-J as of vol. 1(2004) to current.

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  • Challenges with couples HIV counselling and testing among black MSM students: perspectives of university students in Durban, South Africa

    Geogina Charity Gumindega; Pranitha Maharaj (Taylor & Francis Group, 2022-01-01)
    Research suggests that HIV infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) are acquired from primary partners, yet MSM continually fail to take part in couples HIV counselling and testing (CHCT). To identify factors that inhibit MSM in universities from regularly testing for HIV with their sexual partners, this study considered the perspectives and experiences of 15 MSM students in Durban, South Africa. The findings show that despite appreciating the value of couple testing it is relatively uncommon. MSM resist doing so with their casual partners as this would presumably signal an intention to advance the relationship beyond the short-term. Other barriers included; experienced and perceived homophobia at public testing centres, trust-based assumptions that primary partners need not test for HIV and fear of discord. They also employed alternative strategies to purportedly determine their casual and primary partners’ status in the absence of CHCT. Alternative strategies include; initiating sexual relationships with casual partners whose sexual history is known and making use of home-based testing kits to avoid CHCT at public testing centres. These findings emphasise the need for LGBTIQ-friendly couple-based approaches as a necessary component of HIV prevention interventions among MSM in universities.
  • Social and economic consequences of HIV and AIDS on children: case study of a high-density community in Harare, Zimbabwe

    Joshua Kembo (Taylor & Francis Group, 2010-12-01)
    We present results from a household-based survey that was conducted in Mabvuku, a high-density community in Zimbabwe. The objective of the study was to improve understanding of social and economic consequences of HIV and AIDS on children. Children affected by HIV and AIDS (CABA) formed the treatment group while those not affected by HIV and AIDS (non-CABA) were the control group. We found that many of the differences in the socio-economic indicators that we studied between CABA and non-CABA were not significant. Therefore our results indicate a gloomy scenario for all the children. These results are consistent with existing literature which indicates that the impact of HIV and AIDS is exacerbated by poverty. Based on evidence from this paper, we conclude that programmes and interventions targeted at children should encompass both CABA and non-CABA within a framework of sustained commitment to improving the lives of these children. We hope that our findings will be used in the formulation of interventions and strategies to improve the situation of children affected by HIV and AIDS and/or living in impoverished communities.
  • Report and policy brief from the 4th Africa Conference on Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS Research: Innovations in access to prevention, treatment and care in HIV/AIDS, Kisumu, Kenya, 29 April–3 May 2007

    G. Setswe; K. Peltzer; M. Banyini; D. Skinner; J. Seager; S. Maile; S. Sedumedi; D. Gomis; I. van der Linde (Taylor & Francis Group, 2007-08-01)
    About 520 delegates from all over Africa and 21 countries attended the conference. This report and policy brief summarises the key findings and suggested policy options that emerged from rapporteur reports of conference proceedings including the following themes: (1) Orphans and vulnerable children, (2) Treatment, (3) Prevention, (4) Gender and male involvement, (5) Male circumcision, (6) People living with HIV/AIDS, (7) Food and nutrition, (8) Socioeconomics, and (9) Politics/policy. Two (11.8%) of the 17 OVC projects from the three countries were classified as best practice interventions. Of the 83 abstracts that were accepted at the conference, only 7 (8.4%) were dealing with antiretroviral therapy (ART). There has been tremendous effort by various organisations to provide information about prevention of HIV/AIDS. Information received by adolescents has been effective in increasing their knowledge, but without positive sexual behaviour change.The conference noted the contribution of gender discrimination and violence to the HIV epidemic and the different risks that men and women face in relation to the epidemic. Social scientists need to study the deep cultural meanings attached to male circumcision among different ethnic groups to be able to guide the debate on the latest biomedical findings on the protective effect of circumcision against HIV. Palliative care and support is crucial for coping among people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in order to deal with medical and psychological issues. Results from several countries have helped researchers to explore alternative ways of examining poverty in the context of HIV and AIDS. Policy frameworks which are likely to succeed in combating HIV/AIDS need to be updated to cover issues of access, testing, disclosure and stigma. In general, the conference was successful in identifying innovations in access to prevention, treatment and care in HIV/AIDS.
  • Correlates of condom use among sexually experienced secondary school male students in Nairobi, Kenya

    Marcel Yotebieng; Carolyn Tucker Halpern; Ellen MH Mitchell; Ada Adimora (Taylor & Francis Group, 2009-03-01)
    This study aimed to examine perceptual factors associated with condom use, and the relationship between condom use and the timing of sexual debut among male secondary school students in Nairobi, Kenya. Data are from the TeenWeb study, a school-based project that used the World Wide Web to assess the health needs of secondary school students, and tested the web's utility as a teaching and research modality. Analyses are based on 214 sexually experienced males aged 14 – 20 years who completed webbased questionnaires about their sexual attitudes and behaviour. Results indicate that students did not see themselves as susceptible to HIV/AIDS and believed condom effectiveness in preventing HIV to be low. Consequently, only a marginal association was found between agreeing that buying condoms is embarrassing and condom use at first sexual intercourse. However, contrary to expectation, agreeing that condoms often break (almost half of participants) was associated with a higher likelihood of condom use at first sex. Each year of delay in sexual debut increased the likelihood of using a condom at first sex by 1.44 times. In turn, having used a condom at first sex increased the likelihood of using one at the most recent sex by 4.81 times, and elevated general condom use (‘most or all the time’) by 8.76 times. Interventions to increase awareness about the role of condoms in preventing HIV, delay sexual initiation, and teach proper condom use among secondary-school students in Nairobi are needed.
  • Innovations dans les approches, activités et résultats des conférences internationales sur le VIH/SIDA en Afrique — Le cas de la 3ème conférence africaine sur les aspects sociaux du VIH/SIDA, Dakar, 10 – 14 octobre 2005

    Cheikh Ibrahima Niang; O. Shisana; G. Andrews; D. Kaseje; L. Simbayi; K. Peltzer; Y. Toefy (Taylor & Francis Group, 2006-08-01)
    La situation du VIH/SIDA en Afrique demeure très préoccupante. L'impact du VIH est considérable et menace la survie et le développement des sociétés africaines. Bien qu'il y ait beaucoup d'efforts, les réponses ne sont pas encore à la hauteur des défis. Le SIDA apparaît comme étant une épidémie par rapport à laquelle il est nécessaire d'avoir beaucoup de créativité dans les initiatives. C'est dans ce cadre que la 3ème conférence africaine pour la recherche sur les aspects sociaux du VIH/SIDA a apporté des innovations dans la manière de concevoir les conférences internationales, dans les activités mises en oeuvre et dans les résultats obtenus.Les innovations portent sur la manière de penser les conférences internationales et tiennent compte de la reconceptualisation du VIH/SIDA qui privilégient des approches holistiques et une plus grande visibilité des groupes vulnérables. Les activités de la conférence avaient été organisées de sorte que les PVVIH, les communautés de base et les groupes marginalisés y jouent un rôle central. La conférence a été l'occasion de développer des activités culturelles qui traduisent les concepts culturels africains qui ont été considérés comme importants dans l'analyse de la situation et des réponses concernant le VIH. Les espaces interactifs créés par la conférence ont permis de parvenir à des analyses qui abordent différentes dimensions des déterminants politiques, culturels, économiques.La conférence a suscité une réflexion autour de la construction des réponses en mettant en exergue les thèmes de l'urgence et de l'accélération des réponses, de la construction de synergie, de coordination et de la conception de réponses politiques.
  • Knowledge of HIV/AIDS and attitudes towards people living with HIV among the general staff of a public university in Malaysia

    Yvonne Tee; Mary Huang (Taylor & Francis Group, 2009-12-01)
    Stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV have been widely documented, and have extended their impact into the workplace. Stigmatising attitudes towards people living with HIV (PLHIV) in the workplace significantly hinder HIV prevention efforts and indirectly affect national development. This cross-sectional study was designed to determine the level of knowledge about HIV and AIDS and assess attitudes towards PLHIV among the general staff of Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM), as well as to identify factors that are associated with it. Self-administered questionnaires were posted to a total of 344 general staff from six randomly selected faculties, and they were a given a week to return the questionnaires. The response rate was 38%. Data were analysed using Pearson's correlation, independent t-test and multiple linear regression. The respondents showed a considerably high level of knowledge about HIV/AIDS (mean knowledge score of 15.57±1.93 out of 18 points) although there were some misconceptions (N=129). Likert scale responses to 20 attitude statements revealed that respondents generally had moderately positive attitudes toward PLHIV (average score of 69.65±10.08 out of 100 points). Attitudes were inconsistent when it involved direct contact and interaction with PLHIV. Factors significantly associated with level of knowledge and attitudes included age, education and income. There was no difference in mean score for knowledge and attitudes by gender. Further efforts are necessary to improve attitudes of the general staff towards PLHIV, particularly in areas of direct contact with PLHIV.
  • Resources and infrastructure for the delivery of antiretroviral therapy at primary health care facilities in the Free State Province, South Africa

    Ega Janse van Rensburg-Bonthuyzen; Michelle Engelbrecht; Francois Steyn; Nandi Jacobs; Helen Schneider; Dingie van Rensburg (Taylor & Francis Group, 2008-09-01)
    There are concerns as to whether South Africa's public health system has sufficient resources, human and otherwise, to ensure universal access to antiretroviral treatment (ART). We report on public sector implementation of the Comprehensive Care Management and Treatment (CCMT) programme in the Free State Province, South Africa, in particular whether the primary health care (PHC) infrastructure was able to mobilise the necessary inputs to effectively provide ART, without undermining other services within facilities.A longitudinal study was conducted of the first 16 PHC facilities accredited to provide ART in the province. The facilities were visited on three occasions over 2 years, involving both structured and open-ended interviews with professional and lay staff, and observations of available resources. The resources assessed were staffing, space, essential equipment, drug supplies and laboratory systems.Approximately one-fifth (20%) of professional nurses were allocated to the CCMT programme in the facilities, although the overall number of professional nurses increased by only 14%. This process resulted in some displacement of professional nurses towards the CCMT Programme away from other services in the facilities. However, this could have been partially compensated for by task shifting towards community health workers and the appointment of additional support staff. Staff were largely positive about the programme. Drug supplies, availability of equipment and laboratory systems, although good at the baseline, improved further over the period of observation. The lack of adequate space to accommodate the new programme was a frequently reported problem.Overall, our assessment is that the PHC infrastructure in the Free State's public health system is capable of implementing and benefiting from the CCMT programme. Nevertheless, constraints in the availability of professional staff threaten future implementation of both the CCMT and other PHC programmes.
  • Effect of exposure to clinic-based health education interventions on behavioural intention to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV infection

    Jude Igumbor; Supa Pengpid; Larry Obi (Taylor & Francis Group, 2006-05-01)
    HIV and AIDS incidence among infants in South Africa is on the increase. The uptake of prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) interventions is often said to be dependent on the beliefs and educational needs of those requiring PMTCT services. This study therefore sought to examine the effect of clinic-based health education interventions (HEI) on behavioural intention of PMTCT among 300 pregnant women from 4 primary health care clinics in Tshilidzini Hospital catchments area, South Africa. An interview schedule was used to obtain information regarding participants' demographic characteristics, level of exposure to clinic-based HEI, salient beliefs and behavioural intention on PMTCT. The major findings included that approximately 85% of the participants had heard of PMTCT. There was very little association between frequency of antenatal clinic (ANC) visits and level of exposure to PMTCT information. Condom use had the lowest set of salient belief scores. Control belief was the most common belief contributing to behavioural intention. Generally, the association between PMTCT salient beliefs and behavioural intention was weak. Clinic-based HEI had an impact on behavioural intention of HIV testing, normative belief of regular ANC visit and nevirapine use. The vital contribution of alternative PMTCT information sources such as the radio and television was observed. Enhancing initiatives that empower women, and a better coordination of the existing HEI through better implementation of health education strategy may strengthen the prevailing moderate PMTCT intention in the area investigated.
  • Gender differences regarding barriers and motivators of HIV status disclosure among HIV-positive service users

    Kebede Deribe; Kifle Woldemichael; Bernard Joseph Njau; Bereket Yakob; Sibhatu Biadgilign; Alemayehu Amberbir (Taylor & Francis Group, 2010-07-01)
    There are inconsistent findings about the relation between gender and HIV status disclosure. We conducted a facility-based cross-sectional study, using qualitative and quantitative data collection methods, to explore gender differences in HIV-positive status disclosure among service users in south-west Ethiopia. Among 705 participants, an equal number of men and women (94.6% men v. 94.3%, women) indicated that they had disclosed their result to someone, and the majority (90.9% men v. 90.7% women) to their current main partner. ‘It is customary to tell my partner everything’ was the most frequently cited reason for disclosing (62.5% men v. 68.5% women). Reasons for non-disclosure varied by gender: men were concerned about their partner's worry and exposure of their own unfaithfulness. Women feared physical violence, and social and economic pressure in raising their children. Factors that influenced disclosure also indicated gender variation. For men, disclosure of HIV results to a sexual partner was positively associated with knowing the partner's HIV status and discussion about HIV testing prior to seeking services, while for women it was associated with knowing the partner's HIV status, advanced disease stage, having no more than primary education, being married, and perceiving the current relationship as long-lasting.There was no significant difference in the proportion of HIV status disclosure among men and women. However, the contextual barriers and motivators of disclosure varied by gender. Therefore it is important that clinicians, counsellors, and health educators underscore the importance of gender-specific interventions in efforts to dispel barriers to HIV status disclosure.
  • Editorial Board

    Taylor & Francis Group, 2009-12-01
  • Assessment of utilisation of PMTCT services at Nyanza Provincial Hospital, Kenya

    Iscah Akoth Moth; A.B.C.O. Ayayo; Dan Kaseje (Taylor & Francis Group, 2005-07-01)
    The main objective of the study was to assess the utilisation of prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) services among mothers registered for services at Nyanza Provincial Hospital in Kenya. A cross-sectional exploratory study was conducted, using both quantitative and qualitative approaches to collect primary and secondary data. The study population was 133 clients registered for PMTCT services. The study revealed that 52.4% of clients received PMTCT information at the health facility without prior knowledge about intervention, 96% waited for more than 90 minutes, and 89% took less than 10 minutes for post-test counselling. Knowledge of MTCT and PMTCT was inadequate even after counselling, as participants could not recall the information divulged during counselling. In addition, 80% of clients did not present for follow-up counselling irrespective of HIV status, and 95% did not disclose positive HIV status to spouses/relatives for fear of stigma, discrimination and violence. Inadequate counselling services delivered to clients affected service utilisation, in that significant dropout occurred at the stages of HIV result (31.5%), enrollment (53.6%), and delivery (80.7%). Reasons for dropout included fear of positive HIV result, chronic illness, stigma and discrimination, unsupportive spouse and inability to pay for the services.
  • Impact of AIDS on rural livelihoods in Benue State, Nigeria

    Thea Hilhorst; Marti van Liere; Adiya V Ode; Korrie de Koning (Taylor & Francis Group, 2006-05-01)
    This study addresses the socio-economic impact of AIDS on rural livelihoods in Benue State, Nigeria, where HIV prevalence is 9.3% but the number of AIDS cases is still relatively low. About 6% of the study households had experienced illness and death classified as AIDS, and reported high costs in terms of expenditures and time spent on care, funerals and mourning. These demands on time affected income and productivity, while the diversion of resources had implications for investments and savings. Coping strategies varied between households, mainly as a reflection of asset levels, which were often related to the gender of the household head. Reported coping strategies also differed between ethnic groups. First-line relatives were the most important source of support for households under pressure. Erosive coping strategies that undermined the sustainability of livelihoods were used by more vulnerable households following multiple cases of illness and death. Mourning practices, rules of inheritance and stigma tended to increase a household's vulnerability. Currently, Benue State is facing growing adult morbidity and mortality because of HIV infections. A context-specific study of its possible impact in a setting with a still relatively low number of AIDS cases is therefore important for informing local policy development and for building advocacy.
  • Editorial Board

    Taylor & Francis Group, 2005-04-01
  • The quality of material care provided by grandparents for their orphaned grandchildren in the context of HIV/AIDS and poverty: a study of Kopanong municipality, Free State

    Tsiliso Tamasane; Judith Head (Taylor & Francis Group, 2010-08-01)
    A pervasive argument in the literature on AIDS orphans in South Africa is that grandparents, who often care for their orphaned grandchildren, lack the material means to provide adequate care. This study investigated that claim in an area of ubiquitous poverty and very high unemployment. It is based on the analysis of data obtained from two surveys carried out by the HSRC in the semi-rural municipality of Kopanong in the Free State. The first study was a census which targeted the whole population. The second, smaller survey sampled households which accommodated orphaned and vulnerable children. Based on four proxy indicators for material care: possession of birth certificates, uptake of welfare grants, levels of school attendance, and the number of meals consumed daily, the study revealed that there was very little difference in the quality of care provided by grandparents and other carers, including biological parents. Indeed, since the old age pension is much higher than the child support grant and the foster care grant it may be that grandparents who are pensioners generally have higher incomes than most other adults. In line with the findings of other research, the study found that poverty is a major problem confronting all carers in the area. It concludes that interventions that primarily target orphans overlook the material needs of all poor children. It therefore joins the calls of other researchers for greater state support for all poor children, irrespective of whether they are orphans and who their carers are.
  • Barriers and facilitators to antiretroviral medication adherence among HIV-infected paediatric patients in Ethiopia: A qualitative study

    Sibhatu Biadgilign; Amare Deribew; Alemayehu Amberbir; Kebede Deribe (Taylor & Francis Group, 2009-12-01)
    Medication adherence is a complex behaviour with multiple determinants. Understanding the barriers and facilitators of adherence is invaluable for programme improvement, which assists the foundation of adherence intervention strategies. A qualitative study was conducted in six selected hospitals of Addis Ababa in 2008, to explore barriers and facilitators to antiretroviral medication adherence among HIV-infected paediatric patients. Twelve caregivers of adherent and non-adherent children and 14 key informants in five hospitals were included in the study. The findings revealed that over-dosage (heavy pill burden), fear of stigma and discrimination, cost and access to transportation, lack of understanding of the benefit of taking the medication, economic problems in the household, and lack of nutritional support were the barriers to adherence to HAART. The presence of mobile/wall alarm, the presence of follow-up counselling, improved health of the child, ART clinic setups, and disclosure of HIV serostatus were among the facilitators. This study indicated that paediatric adherence to antiretroviral therapy faces a huge challenge. It suggests the provision of income-generating schemes to caregivers for assisting HIV-infected children. Health care providers should address proper usage of medication reminders.
  • Poverty and HIV/AIDS in South Africa: an empirical contribution

    Lerato Sonia Tladi (Taylor & Francis Group, 2006-05-01)
    This study sets out to establish and explain the empirical link between HIV/AIDS and poverty using data collected by the 1998 South African Demographic and Health Survey (SADHS). Analysis is restricted to women of reproductive age (15 – 49 years). The results indicate an increased risk of HIV infection among the poor, due to poverty-related characteristics of low education and low knowledge of the means of avoiding HIV infection, as opposed to the non-poor. Moreover, the poor and the less educated were found to be more likely not to use condoms than the non-poor. The results do not, however, provide the reasons for these relations and as such further research is required. One possible explanation was financial dependence on their partners, as it was found that women who received money from their partners, as well as those who came from households where hunger was a common phenomenon, were more likely not to use condoms because their partners disliked condoms, than those who did not receive money from their partners. The results also hinted at the intricacy of the poverty-HIV/AIDS relationship, so that it was not only low socio-economic status that increased susceptibility to HIV infection but also high socio-economic status.
  • Editorial Board

    Taylor & Francis Group, 2006-11-01
  • Provision of psychosocial support for young people living with HIV: voices from the field

    Rena Greifinger; Bruce Dick (Taylor & Francis Group, 2011-04-01)
    This review provides a synthesis of the experiences of organisations providing psychosocial support for young people living with HIV (YPLHIV) from throughout the world. Little research exists on psychosocial support for YPLHIV, with many providers uncertain about how to address their complex needs. Eighty-six organisations were sent a survey containing 15 semi-structured, open-ended questions. Sixty-eight organisations from the United States, Europe, Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East responded. The survey asked what challenges the organisation's patient group face; what the organisational aims are; how, where and by whom psychosocial support is delivered; what types of psychosocial support have been effective and which have not; and what recommendations the organisation has for service provision and policy.Data were stratified by age of population, region of the world and whether youth were infected at birth or in adolescence. The problems and needs across groups were more consistent than disparate. Adherence to medication, disclosure of HIV status, issues relating to sex and lack of support networks are problems faced by all YPLHIV. Most organisations use a multi-disciplinary team of individuals to meet these needs, with particular emphasis on individual and group therapy, educational support, and skills-building programmes.The review stresses the importance of youth-centered and youth-led approaches that engage young people in the planning, implementation and evaluation of programmes. Organisations underlined the need for increased funding, capacity building and trained staff. They suggest that policy makers put more effort into understanding the distinctiveness of adolescence, particularly in the context of HIV, and challenge them to make longer-term commitments to funding and programme support. In order for organisations to provide better services, they need further evidence of effective solutions, programme guidance and support tools, and increased collaboration and communication with one another, and with policy-makers and donors.
  • Military men and sexual practices: Discourses of ‘othering’ in safer sex in the light of HIV/AIDS

    Nyameka Mankayi (Taylor & Francis Group, 2009-03-01)
    Despite recent reports that there is increasing condom use, generally resistance to condom use is still high. This paper focuses on factors inhibiting condom use and explores issues of responsibility for safe sex practices to prevent infection among a group of 14 South African male soldiers. Military men are particularly vulnerable to HIV because of their working conditions; for example, working far from home and being among communities where they have greater economic and political power, as well as in relation to their identities and sexualities as men, and how that is exaggerated by the institutional framework of the military. The data in this paper were drawn from a larger qualitative study exploring a group of military men's narratives on their masculinity, sexuality, sexual relationships and HIV/AIDS. Semi-structured interviews were the main data collection method, and the interview transcripts were analysed primarily through interpretive discourse analysis. Findings of this study show that most participants used the socially desirable discourse that safe sex practices (specifically condom use) should be everybody's responsibility. However, there was also the discourse of the ‘other’ responsible person, which was linked to gender, race, ethnicity, education and rank. The paper concludes with a recommendation that tackling HIV in the military needs to involve the rigorous examination of social factors such as gender, race and ethnicity.