Originally Published In
International Journal of Nursing and Midwifery
Since 2006 there has been universal acceptance in both developing and industrialized societies that HIV treatment and related services, including more effective programs, be available to all citizens. However, as a result of the worldwide recession and shifting health priorities, progress toward these goals has stalled. While the epidemic continues to grow (approximately 34 million globally, with 2.7 million new cases in 2010), fewer resources are dedicated to treatment and prevention than previously, and clinical staffs, especially nurses are challenged by more patient care responsibilities. This paper focuses on the relationships of HIV/AIDS care, coping strategies and work environmental stress for nurses working in an African country (Botswana) with a significant epidemic. Data for this study was obtained through questionnaires completed by a sample of 201 nurses working in different types of health facilities in rural and urban areas of Botswana. Results show that 65% of the nurses frequently provided care to clients with HIV/AIDS. Only 35% of the nurses provided care to clients with HIV/AIDS infrequently. Those caregivers who often worked with patients infected with HIV reported significantly (p<.05) more "role demand", "job control" and "shift work" stress and said that their coping strategies were more likely to include taking food supplements. Implications for professional "burn out" among HIV/AIDS caregivers in developing societies are discussed together with strategies for more effective allocations of health care personnel.