Knowledge and attitudes of high school learners regarding people living with HIV/AIDS

Fana, Thanduxolo Elford (2010-03)

Thesis (MPhil (Industrial Psychology. Africa Centre for HIV/AIDS Management))--University of Stellenbosch, 2010.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT : South Africa (SA) is the leader in the world with regard to the number of people that are infected with HIV/AIDS in the world. This poses a threat to South Africa’s political, social and economic development initiatives as majority of those that are infected are between ages 15 - 49 . HIV/AIDS has no cure and it is a serious problem that need everybody undivided attention and dedication. It was previously an accepted belief in life that children will grow and take care of their parents once they are grown ups, but today they never live to see that happening as they continue to be robbed of this opportunity by deaths caused by HIV/AIDS infection. Children are also robbed of parental warmth, guidance and caring environment as their parents are also dying of HIV/AIDS infection and then left behind to fond for themselves. HIV/AIDS infected people are also facing the challenge of dealing with negative societal attitudes while at the same time they had to fight for their lives against the disease as it is not regarded as other diseases by the broader society. They are continuously rejected ostracized, discriminated against, not treated with respect, love, cared and supported for. Everyone needs to help in creating a supportive and enabling environment where HIV/AIDS victims can speak out openly without the fear of being victimized and rejected. The aim of this study is to assess the learner’s knowledge of HIV/AIDS and to determine their attitudes towards People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). It was found that HIV/AIDS knowledge and awareness was high among learners, even though there was some limited knowledge in certain aspects. With regard to perception and attitudes it was discovered that learners had a fair and positive attitude towards PLWHA. It is recommended that these positive attitudes, perception and high knowledge and awareness be sustained through education at schools as they are the appropriate places to teach youth about HIV/AIDS prevention strategies and high risk behaviors.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van die studie was bepaling van die kennis, houding -en persepsievlakke van leerders wat leef met MIV/VIGS. Bevindings van die studie dui daarop dat kennisvlakke van leerders dikwels gebrekking is en redes word daar voor aangevoer. Dit word verder bevind dat die houding – en persepsievlakke redelik goed is by die leerders. Voorstelle word gemaak vir die beter bestuur van MIV/VIGS op skoolvlak ten einde die pandemie so doeltreffend as moontlik op skoolvlak te bestuur.

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