INTRODUCTION : The implementation of nurse-initiated antiretroviral (ARV) treatment at primary health care clinics was introduced
in 2010 as a response to lower the HIV prevalence rate in the community.
AIM : The aim of the study was to identify the factors affecting the implementation of nurse-initiated ARV treatment in primary
health care clinics referring patients to Dr CN Phatudi Hospital, Limpopo Province.
METHODOLOGY : A qualitative study was conducted in 2013 with a purposeful sample of nurses from 12 clinics involved in the
nurse-initiated antiretroviral treatment (NIMART) programme. Two free-attitude focus groups and two individual interviews
were conducted (audio- and video-recorded whilst the researcher took field notes). These interviews were transcribed verbatim
and analysed using the colour-coding as well as cut-and-paste methods.
RESULTS : Common themes that emerged from the individual and focus-group interviews were: (1) lack of resources, which included
health care workers, drugs, stationery, telephones, poor training and inadequate workspace; (2) factors affecting treatment
adherence, such as stigma, poverty, poor roads and the restrictions on the ‘one pill’ regime; (3) support from management and
the visiting doctor and (4) nurses’ work satisfaction.
CONCLUSION : Two of the themes that emerged acted as barriers to the implementation of the NIMART programme, namely: (1)
lack of resources and (2) factors affecting treatment adherence. The two other themes enhanced the implementation of the
NIMART programme, namely: (1) support visits and (2) nurses’ work satisfaction.