Identifying Treatment and Healthcare Seeking Behavior as a Means of Early HIV/AIDS Intervention in Africa


Background: Late diagnosis of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection and delayed commencement of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in sub-Saharan Africa is known to contribute to high morbidity and mortality. It is therefore, prudent to develop innovative approaches to ensure early HIV diagnosis because patients with low immunity will usually develop opportunistic infections and seek some remedial action. A treatment and health care seeking behavior survey was carried out in semi-urban communities in Malaba and Busia in Kenya and Uganda to evaluate the treatment and healthcare seeking behavior among patients visiting randomly selected drugstores. Methodology: Random sampling was applied and questionnaires were used to collect information from 165 interviewees who visited drugstores seeking health information, treatment and other health related services. Results: The results indicated that among this group of people, 67% visited drugstores before any other health facility. 72.2% sought treatment for various illnesses and services ranging from headaches, body fever, gastro-intestinal disturbances, family planning pills, sexually transmitted infections and chronic medications. Among the patients interviewed, there were a number of factors that affected treatment choice. These included the distance to the facility as well as the absence of a consultation fee or fee for service. Conclusion: With proper support, drugstores can play a major role in the implementation of health interventions that seek to promote early diagnosis and treatment as well as play a pivotal role in educating the population on disease prevention and management. In Sub-Saharan Africa, drugstores can play a major role in HIV and AIDS interventions where most patients seek medical intervention for opportunistic infection.

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H. Fomundam, A. Tesfay, A. Maranga, L. Chanetsa, V. Muzoola and F. Oyaro, "Identifying Treatment and Healthcare Seeking Behavior as a Means of Early HIV/AIDS Intervention in Africa," World Journal of AIDS, Vol. 2 No. 3, 2012, pp. 165-173. doi: 10.4236/wja.2012.23022.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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