Analysis of the barriers to access HIV testing in a public hospital in the city of Buenos Aires
F. Vergani1, F. Ameal2, R. Pemoff2, M. Vazquez2
1Fundacion Huesped, Community Services, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2Fundacion Huesped, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Background: The project aims to identify and analyze barriers and facilitators to access pre test counseling. A comparative analysis was performed between people who had pre- and post- test counseling and those who only had post-test counseling.
Methods: The research includes quantitative and qualitative stages. For the quantitative part secondary data was used: previous studies and the data base of the service of Infectious Diseases of Hospital Juan A. Fernandez. For the exploratory-descriptive qualitative data, 30 semi-structured interviews were used.
Results: The database indicated that 64% (488) of the people do not know their HIV status because they do not come back for the results. Most people do not come back for the results due to “fear.” There are more cases recorded of people being tested due to medical prescription (756) than of people testing voluntarily for HIV (233). People do not see themselves at risk that is why medical prescription is important for HIV testing. Those who did not have pre-test counseling show anguish and fear and they also have suicidal thoughts due to their inability to anticipate a possible positive result. In addition 95% would have accepted pre- test counseling to get information so as to clarify doubts and to be better prepared to get the result.
Conclusions: The reasons why results are not picked are: lack of access to the services, delay, fear of a positive result, access to treatment, fear of discrimination. Factors supporting pre-test counseling: getting information, knowing the types of results that one may get, being prepared to receive the news, identifying risk factors and including/understanding the importance of informed consent. Pre-test interviews are important for primary and secondary prevention, as they are a fast tool to prepare people for a positive result and to reduce the impact and the traumatic effect of the result.
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