Socio-Demographic Factors and Health Seeking Behaviour of Clients: a Retrospective Analysis of HIV Data in Rural Ghana
Background: HIV/AIDS care, treatment and prevention is critical in controlling the HIV menace in Ghana. This study investigated the socio-demographic factors and health seeking pattern of HIV clients in rural Ghana.
Methods: This was a retrospective longitudinal study that analysed secondary data from 102 HIV clients in Talensi District Hospital collected between February and April, 2015 in rural Ghana. HIV data was analysed descriptively using Epi Info 7.
Results: The analysis revealed that more females, 69.6% (71/102) and married couples, 51.9% (53/102) were infected than their male, 30.3% (31/102) and single, 19.6% (20/102) counterparts respectively. Most of the clients had primary/no education, 87.3% (89/102) whilst 12.7% (13/102) of the clients had secondary/higher education. 68.6% (70/102) of clients became aware of their status through diagnostic HIV testing with only 2% (2/102) of clients who became aware of their status by walk in voluntary counselling and testing. Majority of the clients had medical insurance, 76.4 % (78/102) with 22.6% (23/102) of clients
who made payment out of their pocket for treatment. Majority of the clients came from neighbouring districts, 62.7% (64/102) to seek care although such services were rendered at their respective districts.
Conclusion: This study has provided evidence on the need for health facilities in rural Ghana to intensify education on HIV preventive methods to rural communities as well as discourage the stigmatization of people living with HIV/AIDS. It is also important to educate people in rural communities on the availability of voluntary counselling and testing centres and encourage them to know their status.
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