Essay: Couples counseling for HIV in Addis Ababa
Both HIV positive and negative couples are advised to immediately inform their partners once they are counseled and tested for HIV and aids. Couple canceling aims to create a conducive environment for safer sex and enhance couples flexibilities when it come to sexual engagements (Allen et al., 1994, p. 1604). Therefore, couples are expected to discuss and come to a consensus before setting out for counseling and testing.
The national aids control council associates such steps with prevention of new infections and at the same time taking care of the infected. However, inhabitants of Addis Ababa have been observed to having less preference for such interactions (Alem, et al. 2006, p. 97). Most of them fear that nurses or the health officials may leak or disclose the same information to their partners. This has lead to many of them not to even dare to seek VCT services. The attitude comes along with the obvious belief that partners usually accuse one another especially when they test positive. Reasons for decline of disclosure were mainly gender based with most men citing the worries of their partners and other family members. According to a research done between February 11, 2001 and November 30 2003, a sample of 18,923 women was provided with antenatal VCT services in clinics around Addis (Kelo et al. 2004). The women were encouraged to inform their partners about the services, which could probably make them get tested too. However, the exercise registered a massive number of women who never dared to involve their partners because they feared the negative reaction from their partners.