Research Article

Living with HIV in Ghana: Disclosure of status and experiences of persons receiving antiretroviral therapy

Published in: African Journal of AIDS Research
Volume 20, issue 3, 2021 , pages: 204–213
DOI: 10.2989/16085906.2021.1964546
Author(s): Maxwell Peprah Opoku, United Arab Emirates, Eric Lawer Torgbenu, Australia, J-F, Australia, William Nketsia, Ghana, Wisdom Kwadwo Mprah, Ghana, Anthony Kweku Edusei, Ghana

Abstract

Barriers to treatment faced by people living with HIV (PLWH) have been well explored in the literature. Despite the importance of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in the treatment of HIV and prevention of AIDS, in the Ghanaian context only about 32% of infected persons have access to treatment. This underscores a need to understand the experiences of PLWH receiving ART to provide baseline information for policymakers’ efforts to increase access to treatment. This study captures the voices of PLWH who were receiving ART in Ghana. A total of 35 participants receiving treatment in a hospital setting (11 males, 24 females; mean age 38 years, age range 21–60 years) took part in semi-structured face-to-face interviews to discuss their opinions about the cause of their HIV infection and its impact on their lives. The study found that the participants were susceptible to discrimination in their communities and at health care facilities. Some participants experienced marriage breakdowns, unemployment, social isolation, and were unable to perform everyday chores and responsibilities. Concerted efforts to address the barriers to treatment faced by PLWH are needed.

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