Factors that make children vulnerable to HIV/AIDS : a case of Lindi District Council

Kisyombe, Daisy Nathan (2013-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Tanzania has documented risky and abusive behaviors to children, 10% of young people 15-19 years old have had their first sexual intercourse before the age of 15 years. 38.3% of girls and 30.7% of boys aged 13 -17 years old experienced three or more incidence of sexual violence. UNICEF highlights the critical information gap in adolescence hindering strategic planning to address the needs and rights of children. This study aimed at determining what the factors are that make children vulnerable to HIV; design interventions that address children’s vulnerabilities and prevent HIV infection. This was interpretive qualitative study using focus group discussions and semi structured interviews in determining factors that make children vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. Interpretive validity was used to ensure accuracy of study findings. The data was collected from a sample of 2 social welfare officers, 18 most vulnerable children aged 11–17 years and 18 caregivers of respondent children. The research used purposive sampling and stratified random sampling in selection of respondents. The data analysis was done through coding the information collected then categorizing into themes. The interpretation was guided by comparison of findings with existing literature. The researcher obtained Certificates of ethical clearance from Tanzanian National Institute for Medical Research and The Research Ethics Committee at Stellenbosch University. The study found that all respondent had awareness of HIV. Caregivers were able to articulate two main routes of HIV transmission. While sexual transmission of HIV came up in all groups; knowledge of mother to child transmission of HIV did not come out during the discussion. Some parents demonstrated a degree of denial of reality about their children’s sexual relations; none of the parents could validate their position. Entertainment in the community was perceived as a contributing factor to HIV vulnerability of children. Parents expressed hardship in controlling children because the time children spend in entertainment is when they are involved in activities including meeting with men and have sex. Lack of parental guidance was associated with the culture of rite of passage. Poverty and parental irresponsibility were associated with prevalence of transactional sex while culture was said to be a factor for trans-generational sex. Child abuse came out strongly from the men’s group as contributing to children’s vulnerability to HIV/AIDS. It was reported men and women alike in the community are perpetrators of child abuse. Children recommended education on HIV/AIDS and moral/ religious practices to address children vulnerability. Women proposed Government actions against people living with HIV/AIDS that depicted stigma and discrimination in the society. These included requiring the Government to give people living with HIV drugs to control their sexual desires or imprison them as a way to keep them away from children and leaving the community free from HIV. Interventions for addressing vulnerability to HIV/AIDS for children in this context should focus on empowering children and parents, promote behavior change and address economic blockade. This study recommends interventions focusing on improving access to information and health services and household economic strengthening.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Tanzanië het riskante en onregmatige gedrag teenoor kinders van dié land gedokumenteer. Daaruit blyk dat 10% van jongmense tussen die ouderdom van 15-19 jaar voor 15-jarige ouderdom die eerste keer seksueel aktief was. 38.3% van meisies en 30.7% van seuns tussen 13-17 jaar het reeds drie/meer voorvalle van seksuele geweld ervaar. Die Verenigde Nasies se Kinderfonds, UNICEF, beklemtoon die ernstige inligtingsgaping by adolessente, wat strategiese beplanning met die oog op kinders se behoeftes en regte bemoeilik. Hierdie studie was daarop toegespits om te bepaal watter faktore kinders kwesbaar maak vir MIV, en om intervensies te ontwerp om kinders se kwesbaarheid te hanteer en MIV-infeksie te voorkom. Die studie het van fokusgroepgesprekke en semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude gebruik gemaak om te bepaal watter faktore kinders kwesbaar maak vir MIV/vigs. Vertolkende geldigheidskontroles is uitgevoer om die akkuraatheid van die studiebevindinge te verseker. Die data is van ’n steekproef van twee maatskaplike welsynsbeamptes, 18 kwesbare kinders van 11-17 jaar, sowel as die versorgers van hierdie kinders ingesamel. Die navorsing het doelgerigte steekproefneming en gestratifieerde ewekansige steekproefneming gebruik om respondente te kies. Die navorser het etiekgoedkeuringsertifikate van die Tanzaniese Nasionale Instituut vir Mediese Navorsing sowel as die Universiteit van Stellenbosch se Navorsingsetiekkomitee verkry. Die studie het getoon dat alle respondente bewus is van MIV. Versorgers kon die twee vernaamste maniere van MIV-oordrag beskryf. Hoewel seksuele oordrag van MIV in alle groepe ter sprake gekom het, is MIV-oordrag van moeder na kind nie geopper nie. Sommige ouers het ’n mate van ontkenning oor die realiteit van hul kinders se seksuele verhoudings getoon; nie een van die ouers kon stawing vir hul standpunt voorsien nie. Vermaak in die gemeenskap word as bydraende faktor vir MIV-kwesbaarheid beskou. Ouers het genoem dat hulle sukkel om hul kinders te beheer, aangesien die kinders aan vermaak in aktiwiteite soos ontmoetings met mans en seksuele omgang betrokke raak. Armoede en ouerlike onverskilligheid speel ’n rol in die voorkoms van ‘transaksieseks’, terwyl kultuur as faktor in seks tussen en oor generasies aangevoer word. By die mansgroep het kindermishandeling as beduidende bydraende faktor tot kinders se kwesbaarheid vir MIV/vigs na vore getree. Na bewering is mans en vroue ewe skuldig aan kindermishandeling in die gemeenskap. Kinders het opvoeding oor MIV/vigs en morele/godsdienstige praktyke aanbeveel om kwesbaarheid te verminder. Vroue het regeringsoptrede teen mense met MIV/vigs aan die hand gedoen, wat tot stigma en diskriminasie in die samelewing sal lei. Hulle stel onder meer voor dat die regering MIV-positiewe persone van middels moet voorsien om hul seksuele drange te beheer óf hulle moet aanhou om hulle weg te hou van kinders en die gemeenskap van MIV te bevry. Intervensies vir die vermindering van MIV/vigs-kwesbaarheid by kinders behoort klem te lê op die bemagtiging van kinders en ouers, die bevordering van gedragsverandering, en die opheffing van ekonomiese versperrings. Die studie beveel aan dat intervensies op die verbetering van toegang tot inligting en gesondheidsdienste sowel as die ekonomiese versterking van huishoudings konsentreer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/85873
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