Factors Influencing the Uptake of HIV Counselling and Testing Services: The Case of the Employees of the Namibian Correctional Service at Elizabeth Nepemba Correctional Facility

  •  Tangeni Velikoshi    
  •  Burt Davis    
  •  Daniel Opotamutale Ashipala    


Despite the growing public awareness about the burden of HIV and AIDS in Namibia, HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) uptake remains to be low. The aim of this study was to explore factors influencing the HCT uptake amongst correctional officers deployed at Elizabeth Nepemba Correctional Facility (ENCF) in Rundu, Namibia. The study employed a quantitative approach, and a sample of 31 participants was constituted who completed self-administered questionnaires. This research focused on correctional officers deployed at ENCF. Participants were randomly selected from the employee list. It was found that the majority of the respondents (74%) accessed HCT services in the past twelve months, of which 31% indicated having tested at Elizabeth Nepemba HCT Facility. Factors such as confidentiality and privacy issues, the condition of service and staff competency along with accessibility, fear of rejection from families and friends, information provision, education, future planning and risky behaviour were identified as having an influence on HCT uptake. This study concluded that there is a need for more awareness campaigns, information dissemination and involvement of stakeholders to address HIV-related issues for correctional officers at ENCF. This study recommends that the AIDS Committee and employee wellness department should spearhead workshops, information dissemination and educational programmes for correctional officers, so to improve their visibility and influence as well as improve HCT uptake. In addition, Regular workshops and seminars should be organized to empower correctional officers with the knowledge and skills related to HIV behavioural change; as well as resolve any issues related to fear of stigma or rejection.

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