Preparedness of Professional Nurses Rendering HIV Healthcare Services to LGBTIQ+ People in Gauteng Province, South Africa

Desirée Morakane Mulemfo1, *, Azwihangwisi Helen Mavhandu-Mudzusi1
1 Department of Health Studies, University of South Africa, Preller Street, Muckleneuk Ridge, Pretoria, South Africa

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© 2022 Mulemfo and Mavhandu-Mudzusi

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Health Studies, University of South Africa, Preller Street, Muckleneuk Ridge, Pretoria, South Africa; Tel: +27 (0)71 402 4120; +27 (0)12 429 2055; E-mail:



Access to HIV services by LGBTIQ+ individuals is the key to the Agenda for Zero Discrimination in Healthcare settings. As professional nurses are key drivers of HIV healthcare services in government/public settings, there is a need to understand their preparedness for rendering services to LGBTIQ+ individuals who can be considered dual marginalized because of HIV status and being gender or sexual non-binary. However, there is a scarcity of studies focusing on the preparedness of healthcare providers to render HIV services to LGBTIQ+ individuals.


The purpose of this study was to gain an in-depth understanding of the professional nurses’ preparedness in rendering HIV healthcare services to LGBTIQ+ people at public primary healthcare clinics in Gauteng.


This qualitative study followed an interpretative phenomenological analysis design. In-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine participants recruited through criterion purposive sampling. The sample size was determined by data saturation. Data were transcribed verbatim and thematically analyzed, guided by the Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis framework for qualitative data analysis.


Findings indicate that professional nurses lack information regarding LGBTIQ+ communities. Furthermore, they have limited knowledge and skills for preventing and managing HIV in these communities. This is because of a lack of formal training about LGBTIQ+ people’s unique HIV conditions, specific socio-medical interventions, and necessary preventive materials.


Lack of formal preparation of professional nurses regarding LGBTIQ+ individuals and their healthcare needs might hinder the achievement of the desired zero new HIV infections and zero HIV-related death. The researchers thus recommend the inclusion of LGBTIQ+ communities and their healthcare needs in the nursing curriculum and upscaling nurses to render LGBTIQ+-friendly healthcare services.

Keywords: HIV healthcare services, Inequalities, Interpretative phenomenological analysis, LGBTIQ+ health, Preparedness, Primary healthcare, Professional nurses.