Learning about a person’s HIV status
Most of the individuals (17) self-reported looking for an HIV test as a result of a condition or indications thereof. For some, somebody or a young child’s infection (or death in a cases that are few made them look for an HIV test. One participant tested during pregnancy. A couple of individuals reported screening just because a (male) partner was indeed unfaithful and also this had resulted in suspicions. Nine individuals stated that that they had been contaminated through their previous male lovers.
“I became young and there clearly was little we knew. I happened to be 12 years of age in 1994 and I also had been raped by my uncle. (we tested) I had to (test) because I was raped and. My moms and dads took me personally to medical center plus the doctor stated he’d do all of the tests. (whenever I discovered) I was thinking I ended up being dying. Then again I became a youngster therefore I did not know…I think I happened to be numb to everything…” Buli, 28 yrs old, Durban
“If only I happened to be maybe maybe not raped, i might never be HIV good… I had a lot of anger…” Mapule, 29 yrs old, Johannesburg
“How i acquired infected…I have actually three men. Since I have have always been a lesbian and extremely butch, the majority of my buddies had been men. As soon as we will be consuming, they might benefit from me… for me personally it had been rape for the reason that it’s the way 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 have grown to be particular objectives of rape, a type 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 find an HIV test, as VCT counsellors are usually 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 up to a pre-occupation about her intimate orientation:
“All I am able to state is – it is difficult for the lesbian to go with HIV test. I’m sure this really, first when you are for counselling this will depend that is providing you with that counselling… You get here and additionally they inform you of condoms and that you need to utilize them…you inform them “ I do not do men”. You obtain an individual who is empty ( perhaps maybe maybe not informed) plus the subject for counselling changes. `How do you will do it? (have intercourse with ladies)’ you merely get agitated whenever you are allowed to be working with the headlines that you will be HIV good additionally the discussion has changed since you are gay. ” Lesego, 29 yrs old, Pretoria
For the next participant, the health provider had been therefore insensitive after researching her sexual orientation he tossed her HIV test results on to the floor:
“I experienced this headache that is constant not stop. Then I visited the doctor…Two days later on, We returned once again, and HIV tests had been run on me personally, that is whenever they explained I became HIV good. That medical practitioner was not therefore good am I sexually active, and I said `yes’ with me because one of the things he asked me was. Then he asked if with a guy or a female. We said `both’ after which he tossed my outcomes letter on to the floor and stated that if i possibly could sleep both with both women and men i really could browse the report regarding the letter that i will be HIV good. He dropped it on to the floor. ” Mapule, 29 yrs old, Johannesburg
The anxieties related to HIV evaluation for lesbians claim that more work has to be performed to sensitise health care professionals about individuals diverse preferences that are sexual orientations. This might get a way that is long make sure customers aren’t confronted with the possibility dual stigma of disclosure of the 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.