Client perspectives on the responsiveness of HIV services.


A. van der Kwaak, K. 't Hooft, M. Dieleman, E. Kwagala

“At the health centres, you are asked many questions like: ‘Have you given birth, what is your age, whom do you live with, are you in your menses…?” a respondent said. “But in the chemist, you are injected without questions,” another said. And yet another respondent said: “In chemists it is business.” “You only say what you came for, are told to lie down and injected without questions in the chemists,” another respondent said.

The foregoing are responses at a 2010 focus group discussion involving girls andyoung women aged 15 to 19 years in Kibera, Kenya. The discussion was part of a widely published, larger study that showed that young people living with HIV prefer receiving healthcare and referral services without being asked too many questions. The study revealed gaps in service quality and in the delivery system from young people’s perspective: young people were not sufficiently informed, were embarrassed about being HIV-positive and found their counsellors’ approaches and attitudes too patronising.