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Review of HIV counselling and testing related stigma in Ghana

Document type: mthesis
Download file(s): 185321 (405 KB)
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Ghana a country located in West Africa has a median HIV prevalence of 1.9% (2007). There is a wide inter-regional variation; ranging from 1.7% in the northern region to 4.2% in the eastern region. Although, the epidemic is low-grade generalized, its impact on the health and socioeconomic status of the infected and affected is enormous (NACP, 2007). The government of Ghana has recognized HIV Counselling and Testing as the point of entry for HIV prevention, treatment, care and support, hence the focus on making HCT services accessible. However, the effort is undermined by low-uptake of the HIV services; in 2007 the uptake was less than 5%, (Amenya, 2008). Among other factors HIV related stigma is a recognized driver as well as a factor militating against the uptake of HCT services. For the HCT programme to make a progress root causes of stigma and its effects has to be understood and addressed, hence the aim of this topic. METHODOLOGY: To achieve the objectives of the study available literature was reviewed. Forty-two articles were found eligible for the review and findings presented using adapted model of the dynamics of HIV stigma by Holzemer, 2007. FINDINGS: The analysis revealed gender inequality, shame, lack of anti-discriminatory policies, criminalization of Female Sex Work, MSM and drug use are found to be the possible root causes of stigma in Ghana. Breech of confidentiality, vertical HIV programme and lack of anti-discriminatory policy within the health care system are the likely drivers of health care related HIV stigma. CONCLUSION: While the study has revealed some likely root causes of HIV related stigma in Ghana and its effects on the up-take of HCT services more needs to be done to contextualize some of these factors. As in-depth knowledge is generated evidence-informed interventions could reduce the level of stigma and possibly improve the up-take of HCT services.
Authors: Armah-Attoh, W.N.O.
Country: Ghana
Category: Research
Department: Development Policy & Practice
Institute: KIT (Royal Tropical Institute)
Keywords: HIV and AIDS , disease prevention and control , health services
Language: eng
Organization: KIT - Royal Tropical Institute
PAGE: vii, 35
Year: 2009
Region: West Africa
Right: © 2009 Armah-Attoh
Subject: Health and Nutrition
Title: Review of HIV counselling and testing related stigma in Ghana
Training: Master of Public Health / International Course in Health Development (ICHD)