Title page for ETD etd-05152007-132627

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Radebe, Mannini Aletha
URN etd-05152007-132627
Document Title Perceptions of employees about Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) at a motor manufacturing company
Degree MSD (EAP)
Department Social Work
Advisor Name Title
N Masango
  • Acquired Immuno Deficiency Syndroms (AIDS)
  • barriers
  • confidentiality
  • employees
  • couselling
  • Human Immuno Deficiency Virus (HIV)
  • Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT)
  • perceptions
  • prevention and care
Date 2006-08-21
Availability restricted
Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) is now recognised as an important element of any effective HIV prevention and care programme and many companies are introducing it as part of their primary health care package. Only a fraction of South Africans at risk for HIV have undergone VCT. Although most South Africans are aware that VCT services are available, only one in five people in South Africa who knows about VCT have been tested for HIV (Kalichman & Simbayi, 2003).

The motor manufacturing company were the study was conducted has freely offered VCT to their employees, since 2002. Until now, employees have been routinely offered a test because they were presented to the onsite clinic with medical conditions associated with HIV disease. The purpose of the study was to explore the perceptions of employees about the VCT at work. The researcher was inquisitive about the perceptions held by employees and whether those perceptions influenced their decisions to participate in the VCT services.

The objective of the study was to determine employees’ perceptions about VCT and to make recommendations that would assist in the development of new strategies to increase the uptake of VCT.

A qualitative research approach was utilised to elicit the respondent’s meaning of VCT in the workplace. This approach was utilised as it allowed the researcher to gain a first-hand, holistic understanding of employee’s perceptions and attitudes towards VCT at work. The researcher utilised applied research because of concerns in solving the immediate problems that were experienced. The researcher’s rationale for using applied research was based on the urgent need to understand perceptions that hamper employees to participate in VCT. A phenomenological approach was used to describe the meaning of experiences from employee’s own perspectives.

Systematic random sampling was utilised to select 13 respondents from a population of 254 shop floor employees at a motor manufacturing company’s stamping plant. The age limit of the respondents ranged between 22 and 48 years. There were 4 females and 10 males. This was reflected on the demographic profile of the company. Unstructured interviews were conducted with 13 respondents, which allowed the researcher to elicit respondent’s in-depth perceptions, opinions and potential solutions. A tape recorder was used to ensure that the respondents’ account of their experiences and perceptions were well captured.

The research results revealed that while respondents were not opposed to VCT in principle, there were psychosocial and logistical barriers that prevented them from participating in VCT. Lack of confidentiality was identified as one of the major barriers to HIV testing at work. Respondents concerns about confidentiality were closely linked with the lack of trust in the medical personnel and the employer. Employees continued to have serious doubts and anxieties about the confidentiality of HIV test results.

Stigmatising beliefs about AIDS and their associated fears of discrimination appeared to influence decisions to seek HIV testing and HIV treatment services. It came out clearly that pre- and post-testing counselling was essential in the provision of a comprehensive VCT service.

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