Knowledge, attitudes & practices towards HIV/AIDS among former mineworkers of Transkei

Meel, Banwari Lal (2005-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2005.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Mineworkers in South Africa are in abundance as mining is the main occupation especially in the former black homeland. These mineworkers retrenched or retire, and returned to their homeland. Transkei is a former black homeland where abundant retired mineworkers reside to their destiny. Migrancy, which for century has been such a conspicuous feature of the South African labour system, and thought to be a significant contributor to the spread of HIV/AIDS (Lurie M, 2000). The migrant labour system in Transkei region was attributed very extensively to contagious disease especially related with sexually transmitted diseases (STI) like HIV/AIDS. It is estimated that 2 million of the 5 million black mineworkers in South Africa at the time were migrant labourers. Majority of them are from the Transkei region. The ex-mineworkers in this study group are between 41 and 78 years of age (mean 55 years). They have serviced in the mines from 5 to 48 years (mean 20 years). All are married, and having children between 1 and 10 ((mean 6). Fifty seven percent ex-mineworkers did not answer about their number of sexpartners. Only 43% mentioned that they have one partner. Only 31% mineworkers were consuming alcohol. Of them 9% were consuming everyday, and 18% twice in a week. In this study, HIV/AIDS related knowledge, attitudes and behaviour of exmineworkers, living in the remote rural areas of Transkei region of Eastern Cape, were elicited by sending questionnaires to them. Only 19.9% have replied back. There is absolute lack of knowledge in 13.6%, and negative attitude in 27% of the ex-mineworkers. Risks of unsafe sex have been observed among 69%. Of them, 48% have mentioned that they have trust in their wives. Urinary tract symptoms were indicated by 18%, and HIV positivity was reported by 4.5% of mineworkers. There is suicidal tendency (life is not worth living) was found in 22.7% of ex-mineworkers, and a majority (16%) mentioned that it is related with their sickness. Majority of ex-mineworkers have good knowledge about HIV/AIDS, and positive attitude for the survivals. They have also been practicing sex without condoms, but they have provided reasoning to be a faithful to their partners. There is a high level of awareness and a positive attitude towards HIV/AIDS individuals. It was observed that there is less risk taking sexual behaviour among exmineworkers.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: 'n Groot gedeelte van Suid-Afrikaanse mynwerkers is uit die Transkei gebied afkomstig. Daar word konserwatief beraam dat tussen twee en vyf miljoen mynwerkers jaarliks tussen hulle werkplek en die myne migreer en dat hierdie migrasie ingrypende inplikasies vir die verspreiding van die MI-virus het. Die doel van hierdie studie is om die kennis, houding en gedrag van mynwerkers ten opsigte van MIV/Vigs by 'n steekproef van 198 voormalige mynwerkers in die Transkei te toets. Die inligting is deur middel van 'n vraelys en onderhoude gedoen en daar word tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat die kennis van Vigs en die voorkoming daarvan besonder goed is by hierdie steekproef. Die implikasies van die bevindinge van die studie word uitgespel en voorstelle vir verdere studies word aan die hand gedoen.

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