Knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices related to HIV/AIDS among employees in the private security industry in South Africa

OUTPUT TYPE: Conference or seminar papers
TITLE AUTHOR(S): P.Dana, L.C.Simbayi, T.Rehle, J.Vass, D.Skinner, K.Zuma, M.N.Mbelle, S.Jooste, V.Pillay, N.Dwadwa-Henda, Y.Toefy, T.Ketye, A.Matevha
DEPARTMENT: Public Health, Societies and Belonging (HSC)
Intranet: HSRC Library: shelf number 5430
HANDLE: 20.500.11910/5256

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The aim of the study was to critically assess HIV/AIDS related knowledge, attitudes, beliefs and practices among employees in the private security industry in three provinces in South Africa. A second-generation surveillance approach was used where 15 private security companies participated. Fieldworkers approached participants at selected companies and asked them permission to complete a questionnaire and to provide a dry blood spots (DBS) specimen for HIV testing. A total of 2787 employees participated and 2224 agreed to be interviewed and to give a blood specimen for an HIV test. The participants showed high levels of knowledge about HIV/AIDS and positive attitudes towards PLWHA. Most of the participants (86.7%0 had one regular partner while 14.6% of the participants had two or more sexual partners (17.6% males vs. 5.6% females). A tenth of the participants (10.7%) had had sex with someone 10 years younger than themselves. Participants under 24 years old reported high condom use (62.4% males & 53.6% females) compared to their above 50 year old counterparts (16.4% males & 9.1% females). Participants with two or more partners reported high condom use (63.9% males & 44.8% females) compared to those with one partner (37% males and 31% females). The majority of participants knew where to get VCT services (88.1%) but only 53.2% reported to have ever tested for HIV. HIV/AIDS education programmes should promote safer sex practices among older employees. The 'know your status' campaign needs to be strengthened so that employees can know their status.