Volume 2, Number 2


Factors influencing testing for HIV among urban-based public sector employees in Botswana
Bowler, J., Venter, D.J.L. and Komanyane, L.

This study aims to identify the factors influencing participation in HIV testing of urban local government employees in Botswana using components of the Health Belief Model (HBM) as the theoretical framework. Data was collected from a random sample of 200 using a self-administered questionnaire. About 65% of the respondents reported having tested for HIV with the rate of testing for females and males being approximately 72% and 56% respectively. Separate prediction models with the HBM variables were determined for females and males. Perception of susceptibility and benefits explained 43% of the variance for males but hadlimited predictive value for females where factors other than those identified or measuredin the study influenced the testing decision. Barriers, which primarily measured stigma and discrimination and operated differently for females and males, did not make a significant contribution to the prediction models. The results suggest that barriers functioned both as an outcome and an inhibitor of the testing decision. The conclusion reached was that the constructs of the HBM had limited explanatory value. Different research approaches are required to interrogate the complex social and cultural issues influencing the experience of stigma and discrimination. The practical implications indicated that interventions should target promoting a realistic awareness of risk and reducing the fear of stigma and discrimination.

Keywords: HIV VCT participation; Health Belief Model; predictive factors