A survey of information requirements of people living with HIV/AIDS in Kenya
Gichiri, Joshua M.
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As Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) pandemic continues to spread the information-produced chronicling the epidemic continues to grow. Since this far no cure for HIV/AIDS has been found, the importance of this information cannot be underestimated as it forms the basis of education and strategy for survival for both the affected and infected. The purpose of this study was to carry out an investigation of information requirements of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAS) in Kenya. The main objectives, were: to assess the quality (accuracy, adequacy and relevance) of the available information on HIV/AIDS, to discuss the inhibiting factors to it's accessibility, assess the convenience of using this information and to establish the existing gaps in the current HIV/AIDS information service. This study established that indeed quality was lacking in the available information on HIV/AIDS, this was mainly due to lack of adequate information to address varied needs, irrelevance and inaccuracy was prevalent in the available sources. A number of inhibiting factors to accessibility of this information were also identified including: language barriers cost of information, and attitude of information providers among others. Convenience of using the available information was also lacking according to this study, this was mainly due to unfriendly information formats and also the language of presentation. This study also established that the current information service on HIV/AIDS does not address all the requirements of individuals living with HIV/AIDS and therefore there exist information gaps in the current HIV/AIDS information service in Kenya. Some of the recommendations made include: the need to have an ongoing process of assessing and evaluating the information requirements of PLWHAS, development of an information policy on HIV/AIDS, repackaging of information into more user friendly formats and availing this information into a variety of local languages.