A study on knowledge, attitudes and practice towards positive living among women attending art clinic at Balaka District Hospital.

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Kamuzu University of Health Sciences
Living positively requires some basic support: access to health information and services, good nutrition, therapeutic counselling, advice about how to support your family into the future, including children who may be orphaned and some home-based care for those who have eventually become weakened and sick. Also, critically needed is access to treatment i.e. antiretroviral drugs (ARVs). If appropriately prescribed, properly taken and supported by a healthy style, ARVs can massively prolong the health and wellbeing of people who are HIV positive. However, there has been problems in following positive living which was evidenced by drug incompliance among HIV positive women at Balaka District Hospital. The purpose of this study was to explore the knowledge, attitudes and practice towards positive living among women attending ART clinic. A qualitative study using in depth interviews was conducted and a convenient sample of 10 women was recruited at Balaka district hospital. Data was analysed manually after developing codes which were grouped to form themes. The findings show that almost all participants knew positive living and the activities which are involved in it though not all activities were mentioned during discussion. All participants expressed their willingness to live positively since they know the importance. The participants practice positive living by eating nutritious diet, taking ARVs everyday and practicing safe sex. The study has also shown that shortage of adequate food and distance hinders participants from practicing positive living. Based on the study findings, the following recommendations are made: It is recommended that the hospital should provide supplementary food to people living with HIV and AIDS that have problems finding food and the government should consider establishment of ART clinics in distant areas of more than 5km away from the hospital among others.