The knowledge, attitudes and practices (KAP) of correctional officers relating to HIV and AIDS in Johannesburg Management Area: Gauteng Region: Republic of South Africa

Baloyi, Risimati Solidify (2014-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The South African prevalence is estimated at just over 17.1%, but efforts to reduce the number of HIV and AIDS deaths have dramatically changed. What is disturbing is that HIV prevalence rate in South African correctional facilities is higher than in general population. At 44%, HIV prevalence rate in South African correctional facilities are more than double of the just over 17.1% HIV prevalence rate in general population at the end of 2012 (UNAIDS, 2013). South African department of correctional services should regard these as a serious challenge given the increased number of sexual assaults and rape in correctional facilities as the Minister of correctional services Sbu Ndebele recently stated in Prison Brief. These could be worsening if the DCS does not come up with proactive strategies to reduce this prevalence in our Correctional facilities. These come back to the very same correctional officers who are not even aware of this state of HIV prevalence in their correctional facilities. This is because the findings of this study illustrate that majority of the correctional officers stationed in Johannesburg management area have limited knowledge about HIV and AIDS general information and they do not trust their management and their employee assistant staff when it comes to HIV and AIDS and this deny them necessary support and care from their employer. As the global HIV and AIDS epidemic enters its fourth decade, we are confronted by new challenges. In recent years, research related to HIV and AIDS has abounded as scholars continue to seek insight into the reciprocal influence of the pandemic on the one hand and various social systems on the other (Ebersohn, 2008). The purpose of this study was to explore the knowledge, attitudes and sexual practices of correctional officers relating to HIV in Johannesburg management area, Gauteng Region: South Africa. In this study the emerging findings are that Johannesburg management area are implementing their workplace HIV and AIDS programmes without a KAP study conducted to establish the baseline information about their employees, let alone conducting the KAP study on the regular basis to establish the effect of their workplace HIV and AIDS programmes. This was evident when majority of the respondents in this study had a limited knowledge about HIV in general and HIV prevalence in their country and their correctional facilities. Furthermore, there were also a poor monitoring and evaluation of such programmes. Another disturbing finding was that correctional officers in this management area did not have trust on their employee assistant staff and this was evident when 56% of the respondents responded that they would not use their internal EAP in HIV/AIDS related matters. This was the same when it comes to correctional officers attitudes towards management of this management area. This is evident when 71% of the respondents responded that if tested positive for HIV, they would not inform their immediate supervisors, managers, EAP and let alone their chaplain. This implies that there is a lack of trust between the management and their employees and between the employees and the employee assistant programme staff. However, correctional officers attitudes towards offenders living with HIV and AIDS is very good and encouraging and if correctional officers of this management area are given enough HIV information, they may pass it easily to all offenders as they interact with them on a daily basis. Given correctional officers‟ response on HIV testing and the use of EAP it is recommended that external service providers unknown to correctional officers should be used instead if management is unable to conduct a successful capacity building within the management area. Majority of the correctional officers according to this study had a limited knowledge about HIV treatment, cure and vaccine as they are unable to differentiate between the three and this is should be a serious concern for the department of correctional services. Although correctional officers sexual practices in this study findings indicated that correctional officers are well equipped when it comes to safe sexual practices, workplace HIV and AIDS programmes should include cultural beliefs, religion, tradition and myths to fight the spread of this epidemic.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die doel van hierdie studie was om die kennisvlakke asook die houdings en seksuele praktyke van korrektiewe offisiere binne die Departement van Korrektiewe Dienste in die Gauteng Streek in Suid-Afrika te ondersoek. Indien die korrektiewe offisier nie die nodige kennis en vaardighede besit om die verspreiding van die MIV-virus te beperk nie, kan hulle nie 'n doeltreffende rol speel in die Suid-Afrikaanse tronke nie. 'n Vraelys is vir die inwin van data gebruik en 'n steekproef van korrektiewe offisiere is vir die studie gebruik. Die data is op 'n beskrywende vlak ontleed en gevolgtrekkings is gemaak. Die studie bevind dat 'n minderheid van korrektiewe offisiere oor 'n voldoende kennisvlak van MIV beskik. Daar is verder bevind dat daar nie voldoende opleidingsfasiliteite vir hierdie korrektiewe amptenare bestaan nie en dat die programme wat wel aangebied word, nie behoorlik gemonitor en ge-evalueer word nie. Daar is egter bevind dat korrektiewe amptenare wel 'n positiewe houding het teenoor oortreders wat wel MIV-positief is en dat hulle wel die beperkte kennis waaroor hulle beskik na die beste van hulle vermoë oordra aan die oortreders gesurende hulle daaglikse interaksie. Voorstelle word in die studie gemaak vir die ontwikkeling en aanbieding van doeltreffende opleidingsprogramme vir korrektiewe offisiere. Daar word ook voorgestel dat korrektiewe offisiere op 'n veel groter skaal bewus gemaak word van die komplekse interaksie tussen tradisie, vooroordele en mites wat rondom suksesvolle MIV/Vigs-bekamping bestaan.

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