HIV prevalence in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is estimated to be 1.2%, and access to HIV testing and treatment remains low across the country. Despite advances in treatment, HIV continues to be one of the main reasons for hospitalisation and death in low- and middle-income countries, including DRC, but the reasons why people delay seeking health-care when they are extremely sick remain little understood. People in Kinshasa, DRC, continue to present to health-care facilities in an advanced stage of HIV when they are close to death and needing intensive treatment.
This qualitative study was conducted in one health-care facility in Kinshasa. A total of 24 in-depth interviews with purposively selected health-care workers, patients and care-givers were conducted. Patients were currently or previously hospitalised with advanced HIV, defined as CD4 count <200 cells/μl. Patients included those who had previously started antiretroviral treatment (ART), and those who had not. Participant observation was also carried out. Interviews were audio-recorded, translated from French and Lingala into English, transcribed, coded and thematically analysed using NVivo.
This research was supported by the UK Department for International Development’s Operational Research Capacity Building Programme led by the International Union Against TB and Lung Disease (The Union)
Venables E, Casteels I, Manziasi Sumbi E, Goemaere E. “Even if she’s really sick at home, she will pretend that everything is fine.”: Delays in seeking care and treatment for advanced HIV disease in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
PLOS ONE. 2019;14(2):e0211619.
“Even if she’s really sick at home, she will pretend that everything is fine.”: Delays in seeking care and treatment for advanced HIV disease in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Published 13 February 2019