HIV prevention issues for deaf and hard of hearing adolescents : views of parents, teachers, adolescents and organizations serving the deaf community

Mall, Sumaya (2012-12)

Thesis (DPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Disabled adolescents are vulnerable to HIV infection particularly in countries like South Africa which has one of the largest HIV epidemics in the world. Like able-bodied adolescents, adolescents with disabilities are at a critical stage of their psychosocial and sexual development. They may be at risk of sexual abuse as perpetrators may believe that they are incapable of defending themselves or reporting the crime to the authorities. Deaf or hard of hearing adolescents are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS due to similar risk factors to other disabled adolescents. They also face difficulties in communicating with hearing people and receiving information in sign language, and they share characteristics with minority ethnic groups, which make them hard to reach for HIV prevention campaigns. There is a paucity of research in South Africa investigating the role of schools for Deaf and hard of hearing adolescents in delivering appropriate HIV and sexuality education to their learners. This thesis is an exploratory study and investigates HIV prevention issues for Deaf or hard of hearing adolescents in South Africa. More specifically, I aim to determine the ways in which participants believe schools, health systems and other organizations contribute or fail to contribute to the HIV/AIDS prevention needs of Deaf and hard of hearing adolescents. The study includes qualitative interviews with employees of Deaf organizations, educators of Deaf and hard of hearing adolescents, parents of Deaf and hard of hearing adolescents and Deaf and hard of hearing adolescents themselves in relation to sexuality and HIV related issues. Results indicate that Deaf organizations have an interest in the HIV prevention needs of the Deaf community and in Deaf schools. However they have experienced obstacles in delivering HIV education to learners. These obstacles include communication barriers as well as the fact that religious environments in some of the schools may not always be experienced as conducive to HIV education. Although all educators of Deaf and hard of hearing adolescents interviewed in the previous phase of the study were aware that their learners are at risk of HIV/AIDS, some educators of Deaf and hard of hearing adolescents were constrained by the same issues of morality and religious conviction discussed in the first phase. Some participants had made efforts to produce appropriate HIV and sexuality materials for Deaf learners. Parents of Deaf and hard of hearing adolescents were affected by communication barriers with their children but seemed unaware of the religious ethos of many of the schools their children attended. The Deaf and hard of hearing adolescents knew they could be at risk of HIV/AIDS. Some displayed poor knowledge of HIV transmission. There are a number of issues to be addressed if schools for Deaf and hard of hearing learners are to provide adequate HIV/AIDS prevention information to their learners.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Gestremde adolessente is kwesbaar vir MIV-infeksie veral in lande soos Suid-Afrika wat een van die grootste MIV-epidemies ter wêreld het. Soos nie-gestremde adolessente is gestremde adolessente in 'n kritieke stadium van hul psigososiale en seksuele ontwikkeling. Oortreders van seksuele misbruik mag gestermde adolessente beskou as sagte teikens aangesien daar die persepsie is dat hulle minder in staat is om hulself te verdedig of minder geneig is om `n misdaad by die owerhede te rapporteer. Dowe of hardhorende adolessente is kwesbaar vir MIV / VIGS vir redes war soortgelyk is aan die van ander gestremde adolessente. Dowe of hardhorende adolessente vind dit problematies om met horende (nie-gestremde) mense te komminikeer, inligting in gebaretaal te ontvang, en deel eienskappe met etniese minderheidsgroepe wat dit moeilik maak om hulle deur middel van MIV voorkomingsveldtogte te bereik. Daar is 'n gebrek aan navorsing in Suid-Afrika oor die rol wat skole vir dowe en hardhorende adolessente speel in die lewering van geskikte MIV en seksualiteitsopvoeding. Hierdie proefskrif verken en ondersoek kwessies met betrekking tot MIV-voorkoming onder dowe en hardhorende adolessente in Suid-Afrika. Meer spesifiek was die doel van hierdie studie om vas te stel wat deelnemers se persepsies is oor die bydrae of gebrek aan bydrae van skole, gesondheids-en ander organisasies tot die behoeftes van dowe en hardhorende adolessente wanneer dit kom by die voorkoming van MIV/ VIGS. Gedurende die studie is kwalitatiewe onderhoude met die volgende deelnemers gevoer: die werknemers van organisasies vir dowes; die onderwysers van dowes, ouers van dowe en hardhorende adolessente. Die onderhoude het hoofsaaklik gehandel oor seksualiteit en MIV-verwante kwessies onder gehoor gestremde adolessente. Die studie het bevind dat organisasies vir dowes `n belangstelling toon in die behoeftes van dowe gemeenskappe en skole vir dowes wanneer dit kom by MIV-voorkomming. Hulle het dit egter met tye problematies gevind om leerders op te voed oor MIV weens verskeie hindernisse. Hierdie hindernisse sluit in kommunikasie-hindernisse sowel as die godsdienstige etos wat wat in sommige skole teenwoordig is en wat nie altyd bevorderlik is tot MIV-onderrig nie. Alhoewel al die opvoeders van dowe en hardhorende adolessente gedurende die vorige fase van die studie aangedui het dat hul wel bewus is van leerders se risiko vir MIV/VIGS word sommige van hulle beperk deur bogenoemde kwessies van moraliteit en godsdienstige oortuiging. Sommige deelnemers het daarop gedui dat hul pogings aangewend het om geskikte materiaal te produseer wat spreek tot MIV en seksualiteit onder dowe leerders. Ouers van dowe en hardhorende adolessente was bewus van en word beïnvloed deur kommunikasie-hindernisse, maar was nie bewus van die godsdienstige etos van die skole wat hul kinders bywoon nie. Dowe en hardhorende adolessente was bewus daarvan dat hulle die risiko loop om MIV / vigs op te doen, maar dit blyk dat sommige min kennis dra oor MIV-oordrag. Daar is 'n aantal kwessies wat aangespreek moet word voordat skole vir dowes en hardhorendes instaat sal wees om geskikte MIV/VIGS voorkomingsprogramme aanbied te bied wat voldoen aan die behoeftes van leerders.

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