Attitudes to HIV voluntary counselling and testing among mineworkers in South Africa: will availability of antiretroviral therapy encourage testing?

AIDS Care. 2003 Oct;15(5):665-72. doi: 10.1080/0954012030001595140.


We conducted a study to identify attitudes that influence uptake of HIV voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) amongst gold mine workers in South Africa; 105 healthy men were interviewed. The level of basic knowledge of HIV was high, but reported awareness of the extent of HIV infection in the workforce and perceived personal risk of HIV infection was low. Health issues were considered the most important indication for HIV testing and one-third had been tested. Fear of testing positive for HIV and the potential consequences, particularly stigmatization, disease and death, were the major identified barriers to VCT. Half of the participants felt workplace education programmes needed to be improved to promote VCT access. Twenty-six per cent became more favourably inclined towards HIV testing in response to information on improvements that have been made to the confidentiality and convenience of the company's VCT service. Only 14% then indicated that they would be more likely to access VCT if antiretroviral therapy became available. A vigorous community education programme is essential if the introduction of ART is to be effective in promoting uptake of VCT.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Retroviral Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Counseling
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diagnostic Tests, Routine
  • Fear
  • HIV Infections / diagnosis
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / psychology*
  • Health Education
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mining*
  • Occupational Health Services*
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care
  • Risk Factors
  • South Africa
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Anti-Retroviral Agents