Barriers, Motivators, and Facilitators to Engagement in HIV Care Among HIV-Infected Ghanaian Men Who have Sex with Men (MSM)

AIDS Behav. 2018 Mar;22(3):829-839. doi: 10.1007/s10461-017-1806-6.


In Ghana, men who have sex with men (MSM) bear a high burden of HIV. Identifying factors that influence engagement in HIV care among HIV-infected Ghanaian MSM is critical to devising novel interventions and strengthening existing programs aimed at improving outcomes across the HIV care continuum. Consequently, we conducted an exploratory qualitative research study with 30 HIV-infected Ghanaian MSM between May 2015 and July 2015. Common barriers were fear of being seen in HIV-related health facility, financial difficulties, and health system challenges. Major motivators for engagement in care included social support, fear of mortality from HIV, and knowledge of effectiveness of HIV treatment. Key facilitators were enrollment in health insurance, prior relationship and familiarity with hospital personnel, and positive experience in healthcare setting. Our findings highlight the need for new and innovative care delivery mediums, affirming and competent healthcare providers, and increased access to health insurance.

Keywords: Engagement in care; Ghana; HIV care; HIV-infected; Men who have sex with men.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Delivery of Health Care
  • Ghana / epidemiology
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy*
  • HIV Infections / ethnology
  • HIV Infections / psychology
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Homosexuality, Male / ethnology
  • Homosexuality, Male / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Motivation*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Social Stigma*
  • Social Support