"We’re not all infected, but we’re all affected". Nurses’ experiences of preventive work with HIV infected adolescents and adolescents who run the risk of becoming infected.
HIV continues to be a major global health issue and South Africa is reported to have the largest population in the world living with HIV.
Adolescents are at high risk to get the infection and are facing many difficulties when growing up from childhood to adulthood. The nurse has an important key role in the preventive work when meeting the adolescents in the health care.
The aim of this study was to investigate nurses’ experiences of preventive work with HIV positive adolescents and the adolescents who run the risk of become infected.
This study is based on semi-structured qualitative interviews with eight nurses, active in the preventive work with adolescents in a suburb in Western Cape, South Africa.
Knowledge of the disease has increased greatly in South Africa in recent years and was thought to be the main issue to reduce transmission. The nurses’ preventive work seems to have many aspects, were information and education takes a great part. Adolescents were reported to be a difficult group to reach especially the young men. Obstacles in the nursing or denial of the disease often stood in the way for the preventive work and since testing for HIV is voluntary in South Africa, many people choose to abstain.
For the preventive work, voluntary testing might not be the most optimal. The wide rifts between rich and poor are a major problem in the country. Poverty among the people might inhibit people not only from the information media provides but also lack of health care, testing and treatment. Adolescents might be in need for a special approach from health care workers.
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