An Ounce of Prevention: Understanding the barriers and motivations to HIV testing among women in Trinidad and Tobago
Ever since its discovery in Trinidad and Tobago in 1983, HIV/AIDS continues to pose a significant threat to the government’s vision for national development. Despite significant progress being made, many challenges exist including the feminization of the epidemic with women representing more than half of all new infections. This thesis explores the barriers and motivational factors impacting on behavioural change among women in Trinidad and Tobago as it relates to Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) for HIV. The epistemological approach taken was based on social constructivism and interpretivism. The methodology included semi-structured interviews with 31 participants, a visual ranking survey with 241 respondents and observation. The findings reveal that the barriers and motivations impacting on women’s uptake of VCT are highly interconnected and so consistent, targeted cues to action and strong community level support are crucial in order to increase women’s likelihood of action and sense of self-efficacy.