HIV/AIDS-related attitudes and practices of hospital-based health workers in Kampala, Uganda
Mungherera, M., Van Der Straten, A., Hall, T. L., Faigeles, B., Fowler, G., & Mandel, J. S. (1997). HIV/AIDS-related attitudes and practices of hospital-based health workers in Kampala, Uganda. AIDS, 11 Suppl 1, S79-S85.
OBJECTIVE: To assess HIV/AIDS-related attitudes and practices of hospital-based health workers in Kampala, Uganda. METHODS: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Mulago Hospital, the main national referral hospital in Uganda. A total of 155 physicians and nurses completed a brief questionnaire on HIV risk perception, attitudes and practices regarding AIDS prevention education, HIV counseling and testing and care of patients with HIV disease. RESULTS: Twenty-nine per cent of health workers reported never having discussed AIDS prevention with patients, 26% had never referred patients for HIV counseling and 31% had never advised patients suspected of HIV infection to be tested. Frequent explanations for not providing AIDS prevention education included time constraints and/or lack of related knowledge or skills. While 29% perceived recapping needles as involving no risk, activities involving casual contact with patients and condom use for protection against HIV infection were associated with a high perceived risk of HIV transmission, particularly among nurses. Physicians and nurses differed in their HIV/AIDS-related attitudes and practices. The physicians had a more positive attitude towards the care of patients with HIV disease. In addition, 80% of physicians compared to 59% of nurses referred patients for HIV counseling. A similar trend was found for advising patients to obtain HIV testing. CONCLUSIONS: Hospital-based health workers are missing important opportunities for AIDS prevention education with their patients. There are gaps in their knowledge about HIV and related infection control practices. Interventions should address their concerns and barriers to HIV prevention practices