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Knowledge and experiences of mineworkers on the prevention of HIV/AIDS in a mining community of Ghana
Yabila, David Nkumincha
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The HIV/AIDS epidemic is a public health concern worldwide. An estimated 36.9 million people are living with HIV/AIDS with about two million new infections annually. An approximate ten million people have died of AIDS-related causes since the beginning of the epidemic. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is the most affected sub-region, with approximately 71% of all People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHWA) from mid-2016. In SSA, the epidemic has become a socioeconomic burden on developing countries. The literature review established a high prevalence of HIV/STIs among mineworkers and in mining communities, despite the increase in education on HIV/AIDS prevention in the media and public fora. The aim of the study was to explore and describe the knowledge and experiences of mineworkers on the prevention of HIV/AIDS in a mining community in Ghana. An exploratory, descriptive and contextual design was applied. Data collection was done using semi-structured individual interviews. The population in this study was mineworkers who come from other districts and regions in Ghana to live in the catchment community without their families because of employment. Seventeen (17) participants were interviewed, after purposive sampling was done. Interview transcriptions and manual coding were done by the researcher using Microsoft Word. The raw data was coded and sorted into themes and sub-themes and analysed by using Braun and Clarke's six-phase framework for thematic analysis. The Health Belief Model (HBM), a theoretical framework was applied to the study to predict and explain whether a person will perform an action necessary for preventing a HIV/AIDS or not. Findings from this study revealed that although there has been an increase in education on HIV/AIDS across the country and through workplace HIV/AIDS programmes, mineworkers lacked knowledge of HIV/AIDS, as they still had misconceptions about HIV/AIDS, especially regarding the mode of transmission and preventive measures. A strong recommendation was made to embark on a continuous and intensive HIV/AIDS education programme that will be focused on the knowledge needs of mineworkers to dismiss the misconceptions and improve their knowledge level. This will empower them to know the benefits of prevention and ultimately change their behaviour.