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Nurse support for young adults during a first antiretroviral therapy visit at an urban primary health care clinic in Malawi
Chigona, Kupatsa Mnyozeni
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Primary health care (PHC) is a frontline health care approach. It is the point of contact where people are kept well and where their quality of life is improved. All people diagnosed as HIV- positive are retested prior to antiretroviral therapy (ART) initiation to verify their serostatus. ART initiation is seen as a non-emergency treatment that provides many benefits if its initiation is accelerated, for example following up pregnant women after being diagnosed with HIV. However, accelerated initiation may lead clients to start treatment before they are ready to adhere to treatment outcomes. The purpose of this study was to describe the nurse support for young adults during a first antiretroviral therapy visit at an urban primary health care clinic in Malawi. A descriptive phenomenological design was followed at an urban setup in Zomba city, Malawi. The sample was selected through purposive sampling until data saturation was obtained. Individual semi- structured interviews were conducted with young adults aged 19 25 who have visited the clinic for their first ART according to an interview schedule and field notes for around 30 minutes in a private room. The data was analysed using distinctive process and a consensus meeting was held between the researcher and independent coder. The findings of the study could help the PHC services to retain and re-engage the young adults in HIV care and aid the Government of Malawi in achieving its Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3. Principles of trustworthiness and ethics were adhered to throughout the research process. Six themes, each with separate categories, emerged from the data analysis on the experience of young adults during their first visit for ART at an urban PHC clinic in Malawi. The results indicated the need for an environment that enhances a client-orientated approach with a focus on holistic well-being. Knowledge management should be used to provide relevant and sufficient information to a newcomer while maintaining ethics under difficult circumstances. The legal environment should have a focus on supporting clients that need comprehensive ART treatment. Motivation of the patient regarding taking antiretroviral treatment (ART) is thus essential. Young adults express the need to be supported by nurses with relevant information, privacy and confidentiality and the trusting client/nurse relationship which could help them to retain in ART care. Recommendations of this study was that nurses should be offered in-service training on youthfriendly programmes which focuses on the health care of young adults during their HIV/ART services. Nurses need to create trusting relationship for the young adults and providing in door game at the waiting area to keep them busy as they are waiting for the services. Nursing managers to lobby for funding to extend the clinic and be role models in providing relevant information to young adults. It was concluded that a first visit was both positive and challenging to the participant s; however, they experienced the health providers on the first visit to be caring and supportive.