Estella BIH-NEH NSOH1
1University of Buea ,Cameroon
CaHReF 2018, Yaoundé Congres hall, 08 – 11 January 2019 , OAU032
Background: Despite the World Health Organization's (WHO) attempts to decentralize HIV treatment centers to improve service delivery, people living with HIV still travel to distant centers to access treatment. The trend and factors that influence HIV patients traveling to distant areas for treatment are not known in Cameroon.
Objectif: This paper sought to describe the role of perceived stigma in HIV treatment in the era of decentralization of HIV treatment facilities.
Methodology: A cross-sectional study was conducted between February and April 2018, and involved 443 HIV patients registered for treatment in two hospitals in the North-West region of Cameroon. Data was collected using a semi-structured questionnaire and analyzed using the SPSS software version 23.
Results: In all, 32% of the participants deliberately traveled to distant areas to access their HIV treatment. Perceived better quality of care was the most common factor influencing choice of treatment center especially among patients from distant areas (p <0.001). The overall prevalence of perceived stigma was found to be high (33.6%); and this was higher among HIV patients who traveled from distant areas (p <0.001). Multivariate analysis showed high perceived stigma was associated with duration on treatment less than 2 years (OR = 2.6, CI: 1.3-5.2, p=0.007), age between 25 and 39 years (OR = 2.4, CI: 1.1-5.2, p=0.030),
Conclusion/Recommandation: Level of perceived stigma among people living with HIV in the North-West of Cameroon is high and influences the pattern of usage of HIV treatment services. There is need to reinforce HIV-related stigma reduction programs especially for newly diagnosed young adult patients and improve quality of HIV care in newly decentralized facilities.
Key Words:Perceived stigma, decentralization, HIV, Cameroon