Experiences and support needs of poverty-stricken people living with HIV in the Potchefstroom district in the North West Province
The majority of the people living with HIV in the North West Province are part of households living in an unfavourable economic situation (Kotze, Roux & Wessels 2001 :83). The AIDS pandemic has intensified their poverty situation even more, which is emphasized by Nattrass (2004:150) in the following statement: 'The AIDS pandemic is both a cause and effect of poverty.' Adding to this, the majority of the poverty-stricken people living with HIV in the Potchefstroom district do not feel supported after having been diagnosed HIV positive (Pienaar, 200455-58). Once there is a clearer understanding of how South Africans experience living with HIV counsellors, nurses and other health care workers will be better equipped to meet the needs of these people (Coetzee & Spangenberg 2003:216). Therefore, guidelines that can serve as useful tools for professional nurses and other health care workers, including volunteers, who are working with poverty-stricken people living with HIV, were developed in this study in order to address the gap in the support during the HIV infection. The objective of this research was to explore the experience and to identify the support needs of poverty-stricken people living with HIV in the informal settlements in the Potchefstroom district and to formulate guidelines for effective support for poverty-stricken people living with HIV. A qualitative, phenomenological design was used which enabled the researcher to understand the way in which poverty-stricken people experience living with HIV and to identify their support needs. In-depth interviews, consisting of 24 one-to-one interviews and one focus group were conducted to obtain the data. The population studied in this research consisted of the poverty-stricken people living with HIV in the informal settlements in the Potchefstroom district in the North West Province, South Africa. Purposive sampling was used to select participants with the assistance of mediators who are working for the Non Governmental Organisations dealing with HIV and AIDS in the Potchefstroom district. The sample size was determined by data saturation, which was reached after 25 interviews. Data analysis was carried out simultaneously with data collection. In consensus discussions, the researcher and the co-coder reached consensus on the main and sub themes. From the research findings, six main themes were identified. The first two main themes are the facilitative and impeding experiences of poverty-stricken people living with HIV. The remaining four main themes include the needs of poverty-stricken people living with HIV, namely; basic needs, psycho-social needs, cultural-spiritual needs and self-actualisation needs. It could be concluded that the experience of poverty-stricken people living with HIV in the Potchefstroom district is closely related to their support needs. In order to address these needs holistically and to enhance the quality of life of poverty-stricken people living with HIV, the needs should firstly be addressed individually and according to culture. Following that, the collective needs can be addressed by a support system addressing basic, psychosocial, cultural-spiritual and selfactualisation needs for which an experiences and needs framework and guidelines were formulated.
- Health Sciences