WJA  Vol.5 No.3 , September 2015
Assessing the Acceptability and Willingness to Use HIV Self-Testing among Student Nurses in a Private Nursing College, Gauteng Province, South Africa
Abstract
Globally, there is increasing evidence that HIV self-testing (HIVST) is commonly practiced among health care workers (HCWs). Although HIVST kits are available in South Africa, their distribution and use remain unregulated and its acceptability, undocumented. The aim of the study was to explore the acceptability of HIV self-testing among student nurses, examine their willingness to use self-testing, and evaluate their views on the implementation of a regulated HIV self-testing programme. This was a qualitative explorative study, and six focus group discussions were conducted with 67 student nurses recruited from a private nursing college, in Pretoria, South Africa. Thematic analysis and NVivo10 qualitative software were used for data analysis. The nurses perceived HIVST as an acceptable option for HIV testing and most were willing to self-test. Self-testing will provide confidential and accessible HIV testing services, reduce the stigma associated with the condition, and increase partner testing and disclosure. HIVST is more likely to be practised if self-testing kits are easily accessible and affordable, and there are strategies to educate people before the adoption of HIVST. The lack of pre- and post-test counselling, the risk of inaccurate test results, and lack of strategies for the confirmation of self-testing results were the main arguments against HIVST. The high acceptance of HIVST among nurses suggests that HIVST is a feasible option to increase the uptake of HIV-testing among HCWs. However, pre- and post-test counselling should be considered important components in the implementation of self-testing services. Educational and awareness campaigns should precede the roll-out of the self-testing programs.

Cite this paper
Madiba, S. , Segobola, M. and Mokgatle, M. (2015) Assessing the Acceptability and Willingness to Use HIV Self-Testing among Student Nurses in a Private Nursing College, Gauteng Province, South Africa. World Journal of AIDS, 5, 208-216. doi: 10.4236/wja.2015.53024.
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