A descriptive study of the attitudes and practices of health personnel towards clients with STD/HIV.
Chipungu, Anne Mulenga Makanta.
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The study sought to determine the attitudes of health personnel towards clients with STD/HIV. A sample of sixty (60) subjects comprising of 31 (51.7%) males and 29(48%) females was selected randomly. The respondents were drawn from three health centers of Lusaka, namely University Teaching Hospital (U.T.H.), Kabwata Clinic and University of Zambia Clinic. Data was collected between 25th to 30th August, 1995. A self devised questionnaire was used and this was complimented by a Focus Group discussion. The method was convenient and cheap considering the time limit, in which the study had to be completed. Before data could be collected, a letter to the Ethical Committee was sought and permission was granted. The study revealed that attitudes of the respondents towards clients with STD/HIV varied. The majority of respondents showed a positive attitude which was closely related to educational status attained. Respondents 7(100%) with University status showed a positive attitude. The results of the study showed that to a certain extent the negative attitude of health workers did contribute to the increase in STD because some health workers did not maintain confidentiality. The study also revealed that clients with STD/HIV are at times discriminated. The majority of respondents felt that the only way to change this practice was through education while some respondents thought an extra allowance would change the attitudes of health personnel. Based on the study results the researcher concluded that it is very important for health workers to develop positive attitudes if the fight against STD/HIV has to succeed.