HIV testing attitudes and practices amongst 'wealthy men': qualitative evidence from Tanzania

Deane, Kevin; Wamoyi, Joyce; Mgunga, Samwel and Changalucha, John (2021). HIV testing attitudes and practices amongst 'wealthy men': qualitative evidence from Tanzania. Culture, Health and Sexuality (Early access).

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13691058.2021.1941261

Abstract

Evidence from nationally representative surveys conducted in sub-Saharan Africa shows that significant proportions of men in the wealthiest quintile report never having tested for HIV. Despite high prevalence rates in this quintile, no research has been conducted on the HIV testing attitudes and practices of wealthier men. This article reports findings from qualitative research conducted with 23 wealthy men in Tanzania. Whilst wealthy men reported barriers to and enablers of HIV testing previously reported by the general population, concerns around loss of social status and community standing were amplified for members of this demographic. Furthermore, HIV stigma among members of this group remains high. However, enhanced access to HIV testing through private clinics, regular healthcare appointments, health insurance schemes and the means to travel to other countries enables wealthy men to avoid stigma. In settings such as the workplace, wealthy men were able to test in public in their roles as ‘leaders’ to encourage others to test. Future interventions to increase testing amongst men should target settings in which these leadership roles can be taken advantage of. HIV services also need integrating into the health system to remove the need for testing and treatment to be accessed at separate clinics.

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