International Nursing Review
School of Nursing and Midwifery / Graduate Research School
Edith Cowan University
Although several programs have been initiated to increase the uptake of health services amongst youth living with human immunodeficiency virus in the world, disparities in access to these care services still exist.
This study aimed to explore the experiences of young people as they attend the human immunodeficiency virus clinic and to identify factors affecting their uptake of health services in southern Malawi.
A focused ethnography was conducted to collect data from 20 youths living with human immunodeficiency virus and aged between 15 and 24 years through one-on-one in-depth interviews and casual observations. The interviews data were analysed thematically following transcriptions.
Two themes emerged to describe the factors that facilitated or hindered the uptake of HIV-health services. The first theme: Facilitators to the accessibility and utilization of HIV services consisted subthemes of Health personnel-related factors and Innovative healthcare delivery approach. The second theme: Barriers to utilization and accessibility of HIV service comprised of the following subthemes: Ignorance of health services available, Clinic-related factors and Consumer-related factors.
Efforts to support health services that are youth-friendly and easily accessible are needed to increase uptake, decrease mortality, prevent disability and promote the wellbeing of youth living with human immunodeficiency virus. Implications for nursing practice and policy: Approaches used with this population should be youth-centred and multifaceted, recognizing both the psychosocial challenges and the vulnerability that many youths in Malawi experience.