Individuals relayed learning about their HIV status to the way they got contaminated.

Individuals relayed learning about their HIV status to the way they got contaminated.

Discovering about a person’s HIV status

A lot of the individuals (17) self-reported looking for an HIV test as a result of a disease or indications thereof. For some, somebody or a kid’s disease (or death in a cases that are few made them look for an HIV test. One participant tested during maternity. A couple of individuals reported assessment must be (male) partner was in fact unfaithful and also this had resulted in suspicions. Nine individuals stated that they’d been contaminated through their previous male partners.

Eight individuals stated that that they had been raped. Three of them desired an HIV test straight following rape event. The three connected their HIV status that is positive the rape incident:

“I happened to be young and there clearly was little we knew. I happened to be 12 yrs old in 1994 and I had been raped by my uncle. (we tested) I had to (test) because I was raped and. My parents took me personally to medical center plus the physician said he’d do most of the tests. (When we discovered) I happened to be thinking I happened to be dying. Then again I happened to be a kid therefore I don’t know…I think I happened to be numb to everything…” Buli, 28 yrs old, Durban

“If only I happened to be perhaps not raped, I would personally never be HIV positive… we had plenty of anger…” Mapule, 29 yrs old, Johannesburg

“How i acquired infected…I have actually three men. Since I have am a lesbian and extremely butch, the majority of my buddies had been men. Whenever we will be consuming, they might make use of me… for me personally it had been rape for the reason that it’s how I got my children… ”. Glenda, 37 yrs old, Namibia|They would take advantage of me… For me it was rape because that’s how I got my children… ”. Glenda, 37 yrs old, Namibia when we would be drinking

Lesbians in Southern Africa specially are becoming certain goals of rape, a kind of rape that aims to `heterosexualise’ them (Mkhize et al. 2010). Because they were lesbians, it is alarming that even in such a small sample, so many women reported having been raped while we may not claim that the women in this study were targeted.

Knowledge about testing

Individuals claimed it was hard and usually unpleasant to look for an HIV test, as VCT counsellors are ill-informed or interested in learning same-sex preference that is sexual. As you participant reported, her counsellor shifted the main focus far from providing help about HIV to a pre-occupation about her intimate orientation:

“All I am able to state is – it is difficult for the lesbian to go after HIV test. I understand this actually, first when you are for counselling this will depend that is providing you with that counselling… You get here plus they let you know about condoms and that you must utilize them…you let them know “ I do not do men”. You obtain a person who is empty ( perhaps perhaps maybe not informed) and also the subject for counselling changes. `Just how can you are doing it? (have intercourse with ladies)’ you simply get agitated if you’re allowed to be coping with the news headlines because you might be gay. That you’re HIV good therefore the conversation has now changed” Lesego, 29 yrs old, Pretoria

The health provider was so insensitive after learning about her sexual orientation that he threw her HIV test results on the floor for another participant

“I’d this headache that is constant not stop. When I went along to the doctor…Two days later on, We went back once more, and HIV tests had been run they told me I was HIV positive on me, that’s when. That medical practitioner was not therefore excellent beside me because among the things he asked me personally had been am we intimately active, and I also said `yes’. Then he asked if with a guy or a lady. We said `both’ after which he tossed my outcomes page on the ground and stated that if i possibly could sleep both with women and men i really could see the report regarding the page that i will be HIV good. It was dropped by him on the ground. ” Mapule, 29 yrs old, Johannesburg

The anxieties connected with HIV evaluating for lesbians declare that more work has to be performed to sensitise health care professionals about individuals diverse intimate choices and orientations. This might get a way that is long make sure that consumers aren’t up against the possibility dual stigma of disclosure of these intimate orientation. It is the curious questions about same-sex sexual acts that the participant had to entertain if it is not a negative attitude, as one participant above explained.

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