Date of Conferral





Public Health


Wen-Hung W. Kuo


AbstractHIV prevalence rates are higher among men who have sex with men (MSM) than in the general population. Although there is ample evidence that partner notification (PN) effectively breaks the HIV transmission chain among MSM, it has not been practiced consistently in Cameroon. This study aimed to assess the perceptions and acceptability of PN of HIV status among MSM and use by health care workers (HCWs) in Cameroon. The health belief model underpinned this qualitative inquiry, in which I recruited 15 HCWs and 16 MSM using snowball sampling. I used in-depth personal interviews for data collection with notes taken using Microsoft Word and cross-checked with interviewees. Category coding, thematic analysis, qualitative content analysis, and discourse analysis were applied following an inductive procedure to generate responses to the research questions. The MSM participants reported having multiple sexual partners; 15 expressed the desire to prevent HIV transmission and share their status with partners as a sign of love. The MSM participants said they felt stigmatized by HCWs and the legislature and would prefer to hide their sexual orientation or receive care in centers serving gay men rather than clinics serving the general population. The HCWs participants expressed the desire to receive PN training, saying it would facilitate HIV case identification among MSM. The conclusion is that a collaborative action among the government, HCWs, and the MSM population is critical for Cameroon to control HIV. Furthermore, the amendment of incriminating laws and social barriers may increase access to health care for MSM.