The impact of Peer Education on Family Planning uptake in Lusaka HIV Clinics: a Gender Perspective

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Nyambe, Namakau
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This study aimed to determine the impact of peer educators on family planning usage in Lusaka HIV clinics from a gender perspective. This was achieved by examining the perceptions of ART clients on the quality of family planning in the TIDES supported clinics and clinics that were not supported by TIDES. Two sets of clinics were compared to see the difference in perceptions; determining the gendered trends among ART clients on contraceptives after the introduction of peer education and by assessing the gendered processes through which peer education impacts on family planning. This study used both qualitative and quantitative research methods to examine the views of 80 HIV + individuals who are on ART, 40 from clinics that were supported by TIDES and 40 from two randomly picked control site i.e clinics that were not supported by TIDES; 9 nurses, 6 from the TIDES supported clinics and 3 from the control sites and 7 peer educators from the TIDES sites. Maximum variation purposive sampling was used to select the sample. The target population consisted of HIV+ women and men, nurses and peer educators. Data collection tools included the use of questionnaires administered to the ART clients, 4 in-depth interviewswith nurses and 2 with peer educators. Quantitatively, the study will use tables, graphs, and the computer based social science statistical package (SPSS). The study findings show that peer education had an average effect on the uptake of family planning. The peer educators were able to reach both men and women with family planning information. They taught women the importance of decision making when it comes to family planning. The counseling given by the peer educators seemed to be appreciated by the ART clients in the TIDES supported sites. Even though they seemed to have gotten the information and knowledge on family planning and double protection, family planning use in all 16 TIDES sites did not change much. Many of the counseled clients still opted to use condoms as family planning, because that was their preferred method or because of the myths and misconceptions surrounding HIV and family planning they could not accept any method. More men should be employed as peer counselor to enhance male involvement in family planning issues. Women should be informed that they have the right to make a decision when it comes to family planning. The family planning and HIV care integration should continue
Birth control clinics , Peer education