Barriers to workplace HIV testing in South Africa: a systemic review of the literature

OUTPUT TYPE: Journal Article
TITLE AUTHOR(S): M.Weihs, A.Meyer-Weitz
DEPARTMENT: Human and Social Capabilities (HSC)
Print: HSRC Library: shelf number 8907

If you would like to obtain a copy of this Research Output, please contact Hanlie Baudin at


Low workplace HIV testing uptake makes effective management of HIV and AIDS difficult for South African organisations. Identifying barriers to workplace HIV testing is therefore crucial to inform urgently needed interventions aimed at increasing workplace HIV testing. This study reviewed literature on workplace HIV testing barriers in South Africa. Pubmed, ScienceDirect, PsycInfo and SA Publications were systematically researched. Studies needed to include measures to assess perceived or real barriers to participate in HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT) at the workplace or discuss perceived or real barriers of HIV testing at the workplace based on collected data, provide qualitative or quantitative evidence related to the research topic and needed to refer to workplaces in South Africa. Barriers were defined as any factor on economic, social, personal, environmental or organisational level preventing employees from participating in workplace HIV testing. Four peer-reviewed studies were included, two with quantitative and two with qualitative study designs. The overarching barriers across the studies were fear of compromised confidentiality, being stigmatised or discriminated in the event of testing HIV positive or being observed participating in HIV testing, and a low personal risk perception. Furthermore, it appeared that an awareness of an HIV-positive status hindered HIV testing at the workplace. Further research evidence of South African workplace barriers to HIV testing will enhance related interventions. This systematic review only found very little and contextualised evidence about workplace HCT barriers in South Africa, making it difficult to generalise, and not really sufficient to inform new interventions aimed at increasing workplace HCT uptake.