HIV/AIDS and disability organisations in South Africa
Despite the seriousness of the HIV epidemic globally, and in South Africa in particular, little is known about how HIV/AIDS affects disabled people. One important and little explored area is the role that organisations that represent disabled people or that work on behalf of disabled people, are playing in addressing the HIV/AIDS epidemic among the disabled people they represent or serve. This paper presents the findings of a nationwide survey of disability organisations in South Africa. The purpose of this study was to explore the role of disability organisations in addressing the HIV epidemic among disabled people in South Africa. The findings suggest that while organisations recognise the importance of providing HIV education, and many have taken steps to do so, disabled people are largely excluded from general HIV prevention messages. Disabled people also have significant difficulties in accessing general health care, relevant for HIV testing and treatment. In a country trying to manage serious social problems with limited resources, this paper highlights the need for increased cooperation and collaboration between relevant parties in order to facilitate the changes necessary for disabled people to access needed health information and care. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.