Namibia is one of the most affected countries by human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) epidemic in the world and in the sub-Saharan Africa with an adult prevalence of 19.7%. The health care services are overstrained with patients and home-based care (HBC) is seen as a possible solution to the overstrainedhealth care services in Namibia and this challenge impact on the quality of care on people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) receive. This study assessed the utilization of HBC service, knowledge and perceptions of PLWHA toward HBC services. This is a qualitative study that utilized focus group discussions (FGDs) for the home-based caregivers of the HBC and in-depth interview with HIV/AIDS patients accessing antiretroviral treatment (ART) at Katima State Hospital, Namibia. A total of 4 FGDs were organized with caregivers comprising 31 adult participants (15 male and 16 female) and 18 in-depth interviews were conducted for PLWHA patients ART at Katima State Hospital. All FGDs were tape recorded and one-to-one interview was hand-written. The study demonstrates that most of the participants have positive attitudes toward utilization of HBC service. However, few participants are still afraid to disclose their health status. In general, the community participation has tremendously reduced stigmatization. The access by HBC to nutrition support possibly played a role in reducing the stigma associated with HIV and has increased the number of people utilizing the HBC service. The HIV-positive participants valued the assistance received from the HBC volunteer caregivers and dressing code of volunteers did not influence participant’s attitude to access the HBC service. Knowledge about HIV and HBC service enhanced the positive attitude towards the utilization of HBC service which consequently reduced the stigma associated with HIV infection.
Key words: Home-based care, volunteer caregivers, utilization, knowledge, perception.
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