The knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) regarding HIV/AIDS of high school learners in the Cape Flats area

Dien, Rasheed (2006-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--University of Stellenbosch, 2006.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The youth of the Cape Flats may still have a distorted perception of HIV/AIDS. This is indicated by the findings of research conducted at five high schools in the Cape Town area. The study groups were selected from five different areas in the city to represent different sectors in the society. The findings of this research project that emerged from the knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) test revealed that, while the high school learners might be exposed to a substantial amount of information on HIV/AIDS, this does not mean that they fully understand the basics about the disease. It is not clear just how much information the learners are exposed to, yet there is enough evidence to suggest that some learners are exposed to more than others. The research was aimed at finding out if there were differences in knowledge, attitudes and practices on the basis of social, religious and economic diversity. Factors like language and religion were also considered, especially in relation to the groups' responses to HIV/AIDS. Judging from the prejudiced responses of some of the respondents, it is clear that more intervention and awareness programmes are needed, especially in informal settlements. These programmes would have to cater for high school learners between the ages of 14 and 19. This group of respondent falls into the segment (ages 15-49) that is most at risk of being infected by HIV/AIDS. One of the most telling findings of this study is the difference in attitudes towards the disease and people living with HIV/AIDS on the basis of religion. Of the respondents, 60.4% were Christians, 37.2% were Muslims and the remaining were members of other religions. The research seems to suggest that most of the stigma that is attached to HIV/AIDS can still be attributed to differences in religious norms and beliefs. Muslim respondents from lslamia College showed the most reluctance in interacting and communicating with people infected with HIV/AIDS. This suggests that the stigma attached to the disease could be attributed to limited access to information and awareness programmes. While some respondents seem to know more about the disease than others, there seems to be some misunderstanding about the transmission of the disease. The respondents' knowledge about the disease also seems to be influenced by language. Xhosa and Afrikaans speakers were found to be marginalised, as most of the information on HIV/AIDS in the media is in English. There is a clear need for information and programmes in other languages in order to reach the youth in their homes and schools. The misconceptions of and poor knowledge on all aspects of HIV/AIDS that are prevalent in most of the respondents have to be addressed through effective awareness programmes to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. Indeed, it would be most effective if these programmes could be taken to the homes of the respondents. In this way, younger learners would also benefit from the programmes.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die jeug op die Kaapse Vlakte het heel moontlik nag 'n verdraaide persepsie van MIVNigs. Dit word onderskryf deur navorsing wat in vyf hoerskole in die Kaapstad omgewing gedoen is. Die groepe wat bestudeer is, was afkomstig van vyf verskillende areas in die stad wat verskillende sektore van die gemeenskap verteenwoordig. Die bevindinge van hierdie navorsingsprojek wat ook 'n "knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP)" toets behels het, het bewys dat leerders blootgestel word aan 'n wye spektrum van inligting, maar dat dit nie beteken dat hulle ten volle bewus is van hoe die virus werk nie. Daar is nie genoegsame bewys van hoeveel kennis die leerders oor beskik nie, maar aanduidings is dat sommige leerders meer blootgestel word aan inligting as ander. Die navorsing wou vasstel of daar verskille in kennis, houdings en praktyke is op grand van sosiale, godsdienstige en ekonomiese diversiteit. Faktore soos taal en geloof is in ag geneem, veral met betrekking tot die respons van die groepe tot MIVNigs. Dit het aan die lig gekom dat meer ingrypings- en bewusmakingsprogramme benodig word, veral in informele gebiede. Hierdie programme moet vir die behoeftes van leerders tussen die ouderdomme van 14 en 19 voorsiening maak. Hierdie leerders val in die hoe-risiko kategorie, d.w.s die kategorie tussen die ouderdom van 15-49 wat 'n hoer waarskynlikheid het om deur die virus besmet te word. Een van die sprekende bevindings was die verskil in houdings teenoor die virus op grand van die respondente se geloof. 'n Totaal van 60.4% van die leerders was Christene, 32.2% was Moslems en die res was van ander geloofsgroepe. Die navorsing het bevind dat die stigma teenoor die virus toegeskryf kan word aan geloofsnorme en dit waarin mense glo. Moslemleerders van 'n lslamitiese kollege het baie min vrywilligheid getoon om met leerders te kommunikeer wat MIV positief is. Dit bewys weereens die stigma teenoor die virus wat die gevolg kan wees van beperkte toegang tot inligtings- en bewusmakingsprogramme. Terwyl sommige leerders meer weet as ander, is daar 'n algemene wanpersepsie oar hoe die virus oorgedra word. Die leerders se kennis oar die virus word oak deur taal be'invloed. Xhosa- en Afrikaans sprekers word gemarginaliseer, omdat die meeste inligting in die media oar MIVNigs in Engels aangebied word. In die lig hiervan is dit belangrik dat programme in verskillende tale aangebied moet word om die jeug in hulle huise en skole te bereik. Wanpersepsies en swak kennis in verband met alle aspekte van die virus kom baie algemeen voor. Hierdie probleem moet aangespreek word deur programme wat daarop gerig is om die verspreiding van die virus te voorkom. Hierdie programme moet na die huise geneem word, waar dit suksesvol kan wees. Op hierdie manier kan jonger leerders oak aan die inligting blootgestel word en sodoende kan die wanpersepsies op 'n baie jong ouderdom aangespreek word.

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