Community Attitudes Towards Male Involvement in Home Based Care Activities for People Living with HIV and AIDS in Maseno Division, Western Kenya
Makori, R. K.
Onyango, R. O.
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Home-based care has emerged as an effective method of providing cost-effective and compassionate care to those infected with HIV and AIDS. Traditionally, women have been in the forefront in the provision of care for those infected with HIV/AIDS. However, there was low male involvement in home-based care services and little research has been done. This paper assesses community attitudes towards male involvement in home-based HIV care activities in Western Kenya. It is a cross-sectional descriptive study. Current activities were used as major dimensions to select all the functioning support groups from a list of all HIV and AIDS care givers in Maseno division obtained from the Ministry of Health in Kisumu. Simple random sampling was then used to select 14 support groups which were involved in HIV and AIDS care and support. The study was done in the month of May 2008. Semi-structured questionnaires were used to collect both quantitative and qualitative data from a sample of 248 caregivers, selected from registered support groups, in Maseno division of western Kenya. A three stage thematic approach was used to analyze the qualitative data .Quantitative data was cleaned, coded, entered and analyzed using SPSS (Version 12.0) computer software. Statistical procedures carried out included descriptive and inferential analyses. Overall, 29% of the caregivers were male, 75% took care of close relatives and 59.7% of the respondents had not received formal training on home-based care. Male caregivers performed significantly fewer nursing activities compared to the general activities. Although 92% agreed that men should be involved in care giving, the study further revealed that there is low level of male involvements (μ=1.97, SD= 0.95), statistically significant association between community attitude and level of male involvement in HBC activities (r = -0.39, p = 0.001) and statistically negative attitude towards male involvement (c2 =34.526, p=0.001) in home-based HIV care activities. Full participation of males’ involvement in HIV home care is hindered by the negative attitude from men and the community at large. There is need to address it through seminars and workshops that should be organized by the government and non-governmental organizations to improve and encourage males in giving home-based care services.