SAHARA-J : Journal of Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS, published by Taylor and Francis Group on behalf of SAHARA, disseminates vital open access research on social factors relating to HIV/AIDS. Areas covered include care, support, behaviour change, behavioural surveillance, counselling, impact, mitigation, stigma, discrimination, prevention, treatment, adherence, culture, faith-based approaches, evidence-based intervention, health communication, structural and environmental intervention, financing, policy, media and more.


The library contains articles of Sahara-J as of vol. 1(2004) to current.

Recent Submissions

  • Factors associated with discriminatory attitudes towards people living with HIV among adult population in Ethiopia: analysis on Ethiopian demographic and health survey

    Gedefaw Alen Diress; Mohammed Ahmed; Melese Linger (Taylor & Francis Group, 2020-01-01)
    Extensive discriminatory attitudes in a population can affect people’s willingness to be tested for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), their initiation of antiretroviral therapy, social support as well as the quality of life of people infected with HIV. This study aimed to assess factors associated with discriminatory attitudes towards people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Secondary data analysis was conducted using data from the 2016 Ethiopia Demographic Health Survey. A total of 26,623 adult populations were included. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was conducted to identify factors associated with discriminatory attitudes. The proportion of participants having discriminatory attitudes towards PLWHA was 93.8% among men and 64.5% among women. This study revealed that rural residence, no formal education, lack of media access, not previously tested for HIV and lack of comprehensive HIV knowledge increase the odds of having discriminatory attitudes. In conclusion, there is a high-level discriminatory attitude towards PLWHA. Improvement in HIV-related knowledge and dealing with wrong perceptions and myths are extremely vital to reduce discriminatory attitudes towards HIV-infected people. Information, education and communication programmes need to intensify its educational campaigns to dispel these misconceptions.
  • How is becoming pregnant whilst HIV-positive? Voices of women at a selected rural clinic in Mpumalanga Province of South Africa

    Livhuwani Muthelo; Judith Prudence Mgwenya; Rambelani Nancy Malema; Tebogo Mothiba (Taylor & Francis Group, 2020-01-01)
    Background: Pregnancy decision-making is complicated for HIV-positive women because they have to contend with unpredictable symptoms, potential vertical transmission, and often a problematic life context including poverty, abuse, and stigma. Purpose: The purpose of the study was to explore the views of HIV-positive women attending a support group at a clinic in the Mpumalanga Province, on becoming pregnant. Methods: A qualitative, descriptive, and phenomenological research design was adopted to conduct one-on-one interviews using a semi-structured interview guide. Purposive sampling aided the selection of fifteen HIV-positive women who were members of the HIV/AIDS support group at the clinic. Data saturation was reached at participant number 15. Lincoln and Guba's four criteria for ensuring the trustworthiness of data were applied. Data were analysed using the open coding technique. Results: The following categories emerged: Mitigating fears of becoming pregnant through the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) programme; relationship between becoming pregnant and stigma attached to HIV/AIDS; cultural and social norms about becoming pregnant and the relationship between support groups and becoming pregnant. Conclusion: The study concluded that the desire to become pregnant amongst HIV-positive women is influenced by several aspects such as knowledge about the prevention of mother to child transmission, cultural values and social norms, and belonging to support groups where they were able to share experiences. Furthermore, becoming pregnant was viewed as an obligation to satisfy their partners/husbands and security to maintain marriages.
  • Perceived influence of value systems on the uptake of voluntary medical male circumcision among men in Kweneng East, Botswana

    Thandisizwe R. Mavundla; Fungai Mbengo; Khanyenda Bruce Ngomi (Taylor & Francis Group, 2020-01-01)
    Botswana is one of the countries in Eastern and Southern Africa significantly impacted by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). To control the spread of HIV, the government in 2009 rolled out the voluntary medical male circumcision (VMMC) programme as an additional HIV prevention strategy with the goal of circumcising 80% of HIV negative men by 2016. However, the country failed to achieve this goal as less than 30% of the targeted men were circumcised by 2016. A study was therefore conducted to explore and describe the factors that are perceived by men in Botswana to influence the uptake of VMMC in order to inform future policymaking and programming on VMMC. An exploratory descriptive, qualitative design was utilised to investigate perceived factors influencing the uptake of VMMC among men. Data were collected from 38 men, aged 18–49 years in Kweneng East, Botswana using semi-structured individual interviews and focus group discussions (FGDs). Tesch's method of qualitative data analysis was used to code and categorise transcribed data into meaningful themes. Upon analysis, three themes emerged as influencing the uptake of VMMC: (a) the influence of value systems associated with stakeholder consultation in the community; (b) the influence of value systems associated with cultural beliefs and (c) the influence of value systems associated with religious beliefs. The influence of value systems associated with stakeholder consultation in the community was found to manifest in the form of the lack of consultation with men at the inception of the VMMC; the lack of involvement of village elders during the service delivery process and the lack of involvement of women in VMMC. In addition, the influence of value systems associated with cultural beliefs was found to manifest in the form of the lack of openness between parents and children on sexual matters and the lack of traditional leadership support in VMMC. Lastly, the influence of value systems associated with religious beliefs was found to manifest in the form of religious views not in support of the VMMC and religious views in support of the VMMC. It is concluded that value systems associated with stakeholder consultation, cultural beliefs and religious beliefs were the factors influencing the uptake of VMMC among men in Kweneng East, Botswana, and these factors to a larger extent deterred men from using VMMC services. Based on these findings, it is therefore concluded that government and other providers of VMMC should consider the influence of value systems on the uptake of VMMC in order to provide culturally congruent VMMC services and boost of the uptake of VMMC among men in Kweneng East, Botswana.
  • Attitudes and beliefs of immigrants regarding HIV and AIDS in Mopani district, South Africa

    Lunic B. Khoza; Hilda N. Shilubane; Mygirl P. Lowane (Taylor & Francis Group, 2020-01-01)
    Sub-Saharan Africa faces and is severely affected by many conflicts. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) threaten both the physical and financial well-being of individuals in these struggling countries. This research aims to investigate the immigrants’ attitudes and beliefs regarding HIV/AIDS in the Mopani district, Limpopo Province. Qualitative and quantitative designs were used, and 200 immigrants were sampled. Data was collected using a questionnaire with closed and open-ended questions. Ethical standards were maintained. The study revealed that many respondents expressed discriminatory practices towards individuals infected by HIV. Many viewed promiscuity and the disease called Makhume (meaning illness caused by the omission of purification rites following the death of a family member) as causes of HIV/AIDS. These attitudes could hinder the achievement of healthy lives and the promotion of well-being at all ages if not addressed appropriately. The collaboration of various departments in the Mopani district is required to change these negative attitudes and beliefs that influence immigrants’ behaviours. Also, the use of audio-visuals and peer teaching is most successful in changing attitudes and beliefs.
  • A qualitative evaluation of a stress management programme for HIV and AIDS home-based care workers in Tshwane, South Africa

    P. M. Kupa; L. S. Geyer (Taylor & Francis Group, 2020-01-01)
    The HIV and AIDS pandemic resulted in increased demands on the South African healthcare system and contributed to elevated stress levels among healthcare workers, including home-based care workers. The goal of the study was to evaluate a stress management programme for HIV and AIDS home-based care workers in Tshwane, South Africa. Social constructionism was adopted as the theoretical framework of the study. The study implemented intervention research and adopted a qualitative research approach, specifically the instrumental case study. Non-probability sampling, specifically volunteer sampling was utilised to recruit a group of twelve HIV and AIDS home-based care workers (n = 12). The data were collected through semi-structured interviews and administered before and after exposure to the stress management programme. The research findings, based on thematic analysis, revealed that the programme was effective in mitigating the impact of stress experienced by the HIV and AIDS home-based care workers in Tshwane. Recommendations are proffered for the refinement of the newly developed stress management programme for implementation among HIV and AIDS home-based care workers in similar field settings.
  • A weighted bootstrap approach to logistic regression modelling in identifying risk behaviours associated with sexual activity

    Humphrey Brydon; Rénette Blignaut; Joachim Jacobs (Taylor & Francis Group, 2019-01-01)
    The latest population estimates released by Statistics South Africa indicate that 25.03% of all deaths in 2017 in South Africa were AIDS-related. Along with these results, it is also reported that 7.06% of the population were living with HIV, with the HIV-prevalence among youth (aged 15–24) at 4.64% for 2017 (STATSSA. (2018). Retrieved from Statistics South Africa: The data used in the study contained information related to the risk-taking behaviours associated with the sexual activity of entering first-year students at the University of the Western Cape. In this study, a logistic regression modelling procedure was carried out on those students that were determined to be sexually active, therefore, in the modelling procedure significant risk behaviours of sexually active first-year students could be identified. Of the 14 variables included in the modelling procedure, six were found to be significantly associated with sexually active students. The significant variables included; the age and race of the student, whether the student had ever taken an HIV test, the importance of religion in influencing the sexual behaviour of the student, whether the student consumed alcohol and lastly whether the student smoked. This study further investigated the impact of introducing sample weighting, bootstrap sampling as well as variable selection methods into the logistic regression modelling procedure. It is shown that incorporating these techniques into the modelling procedure produces logistic regression models that are more accurate and have an increased predictive capability. The bootstrapping procedure is shown to produce logistic regression models that are more accurate than those produced without a bootstrap procedure. A comparison between 200, 500 and 1000 bootstrap samples is also incorporated into the modelling procedure with the models produced from 200 bootstrap samples shown to be just as accurate those produced from 500 or 1000 bootstrap samples. Of the five variable selection methods used, it is shown that the Newton–Raphson and Fisher methods are unreliable in producing logistic regression models. The forward, backward and stepwise variable selection methods are shown to produce very similar results.
  • Risky sexual behaviours among young people in sub-Saharan Africa: how can parents use the Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion for change?

    Elvis Tarkang; Lilian Pencille; Hubert Amu; Joyce Komesour; Prosper Lutala (Taylor & Francis Group, 2019-01-01)
    Despite progress made in the treatment of HIV and AIDS by making available the antiretroviral treatment in Africa, youth are still struggling with inadequate knowledge, a negative attitude towards AIDS and high-risk sexual behaviour. All of these are compounded by a lack of open communication between parents and youths which among others, which impedes on the control of the pandemic in this vulnerable group. Building on ‘Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion’ as one way of breaking all barriers in this communication, we suggest keys points in five different domains of this framework namely: building healthy public policies, creating a supportive environment, strengthening community action, developing personal skills, and reorienting the health services.
  • Zimbabwean secondary school Guidance and Counseling teachers teaching sexuality education in the HIV and AIDS education curriculum

    Ephias Gudyanga; Naydene de Lange; Mathabo Khau (Taylor & Francis Group, 2019-01-01)
    In spite of the importance of sexuality education and HIV and AIDS education in preventing HIV infections, Zimbabwean secondary school Guidance and Counseling teachers are not engaging optimally with the current Guidance and Counseling, HIV and AIDS & Life Skills education curriculum, and hence, they are not serving the needs of the learners in the context of the HIV and AIDS pandemic. The aim of the study, therefore, was to explore how Guidance and Counseling teachers could be enabled to teach the necessary critical content in sexuality education in the HIV and AIDS education curriculum. A qualitative research design, informed by a critical paradigm, using participatory visual methodology and methods such as drawing and focus group discussion, was used with eight purposively selected Guidance and Counseling teachers from Gweru district, Zimbabwe. The study was theoretically framed by Cultural Historical Activity Theory. Guidance and Counseling teachers found themselves in a community with diverse cultural practices and beliefs of which some seemed to contradict what was supposed to be taught in the curriculum. The participatory visual methodology, however, enabled a process in which the Guidance and Counseling teachers could reflect on themselves, the context in which they taught, their sexuality education work and learn how to navigate the contradictions and tensions, and to use such contradictions as sources of learning and sources for change. The results have several implications for policy in terms of the Guidance and Counseling curriculum and engaging with cultural issues; and for practice in terms of teacher professional development, teacher training, and for stakeholder contribution.
  • Fighting against HIV and AIDS within a resource constrained rural setting: a case study of the Ruvheneko Programme in Chirumhanzu, Zimbabwe

    Christina Tafadzwa Dzimiri; Patrick Dzimiri; Kezia Batisai (Taylor & Francis Group, 2019-01-01)
    Since reports of the first incidence of the HIV virus in Zimbabwe in 1985, the epidemic has negatively impacted on every facet of human security. Rural areas, by virtue of being the periphery and constrained in terms of resources and health care provision, bear the brunt of the epidemic. In light of the above background, this paper examined how the establishment of Ruvheneko Programme by the people of Chirumhanzu helped in mitigating on the impact of HIV and AIDS in the rural sphere. The paper analyses how the community of Chirumhanzu successfully engaged each other to the extent of coming up with such a vibrant programme. This is raised against the backdrop of failure usually associated with HIV and AIDS engagement projects. The study made use of field interviews and focus group discussions as data collection instruments. Participants were purposively selected on the basis of their knowledge and participation in the establishment and activities of Ruvheneko Programme. Selected were 5 St Theresa’s Hospital Staff, 10 Roman Catholic Church members of which, 5 were from the St Anna’s woman prayer group and 5 men from St Joseph’s men prayer group, 1 village head and 2 elders from the same nearby village constituted key informants. Complementing the use of interviews and focus group discussions was the analysis of secondary data sources on HIV and AIDS in Zimbabwe as well as the Ruvheneko Programme. To understand the collective role of various sectors of the community in establishing Ruvheneko Programme, the paper derives insights from the perspective of social capital theory and its notion of commonality to strengthen communities. Findings from the study show that, unlike other HIV and AIDS programmes that are exported from the urban to the rural areas, Ruvheneko Programme demonstrates a grassroots-level response to HIV and AIDS. Again, social cohesion fostered by aspects such as religiosity, cultural ethos of Ubuntu, and a consultative approach played a key role in unifying people towards fighting HIV and AIDS in Rural Chirumhanzu.
  • On the periphery of HIV and AIDS: Reflections on stress as experienced by caregivers in a child residential care facility in South Africa

    Kesh Mohangi; Chereen Pretorius (Taylor & Francis Group, 2017-01-01)
    Few researchers have investigated how female caregivers of institutionalised children, especially those affected by HIV and AIDS, experience stress. The role played by caregivers cannot be overemphasised; yet caregivers who work in institutions caring for orphaned and/or abandoned children affected by HIV and AIDS, are often marginalised and on the periphery of the HIV and AIDS pandemic. The implication is that insufficient attention or consideration is given to the importance of the role they play in these children’s lives. The objective of the study was to explore how female caregivers of institutionalised children affected by HIV and AIDS experience stress. A qualitative research project with a case study design was conducted. The purposively selected participants from a previously identified care facility were seven females in the age ranges of 35–59. Data was gathered during individual interviews and focus group discussions. Thematic content analysis of the data yielded the following themes: (1) contextualising caregiving as ‘work’; (2) stresses linked to caregiving; and (3) coping with stress. Findings from this study indicated that participants experienced caregiving in an institution as stressful, demotivating, and emotionally burdensome. Moreover, caregivers working in an environment of HIV and AIDS experienced additional stress related to organisational and management impediments, lack of emotional and practical support, inadequate training, discipline difficulties, and lack of respect and appreciation from the children in their care. It is recommended that training and management support as well as personal support and counselling for caregivers in the institutional context could help them to cope better, feel empowered and to potentially elevate their status as valued members of society.
  • Occupational exposure, attitude to HIV-positive patients and uptake of HIV counselling and testing among health care workers in a tertiary hospital in Nigeria

    Modupe O. Onadeko; Mary O. Balogun; Olanrewaju O. Onigbogi; Folashade O. Omokhodion (Taylor & Francis Group, 2017-01-01)
    Health care workers (HCWs) are at risk of occupational exposure to HIV. Their attitude to HIV-positive patients influences patients’ willingness and ability to access quality care. HIV counselling and testing (HCT) services are available to inform HCWs and patients about their status. There is little information about HCT uptake and attitude to HIV-positive patients among HCWs in tertiary health facilities in Nigeria. The aim of this study was to determine occupational exposure and attitude to HIV-positive patients and level of uptake of HCT services among HCWs in a tertiary hospital in Nigeria. A cross-sectional design was utilized. A total of 977 HCWs were surveyed using semi-structured, self-administered questionnaires. Nurses and doctors comprised 78.2% of the respondents. Their mean age was 35 ± 8.4 years. Almost half, 47.0%, reported accidental exposure to blood and body fluids (BBFs) in the preceding year. The main predictor of accidental exposure to BBFs in the last year was working in a surgical department, OR = 1.7, 95% CI (1.1–2.6). HCWs aged <40 years, OR = 5.5, 95% CI (1.9–15.9), who had worked for >5 years, OR = 3.6, 95% CI (1.4–9.3) and who work in nursing department, OR = 6.8, 95% CI (1.7–27.1) were more likely to be exposed to BBFs. Almost half, 52.9%, had accessed HCT services. Predictors for HCT uptake were age <40 years OR = 1.6, 95% CI (1.1–2.4), having worked for >5 years OR = 1.5, 95% CI (1.03–2.2) and working in medical department OR = 1.7, 95% CI (1.1–2.8). Respondents in nursing departments were more likely to require routine HIV test for all patients, OR = 3.9, 95% CI (2.4–6.2). HCWs in the laboratory departments were more likely to believe that HIV patients should be on separate wards, OR = 3.6, 95% CI (1.9–7.0). HCWs should be protected and encouraged to access HCT services in order to be effective role models in the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
  • Modelling self-assessed vulnerability to HIV and its associated factors in a HIV-burdened country

    A. F. Fagbamigbe; A. M. Lawal; E. S. Idemudia (Taylor & Francis Group, 2017-01-01)
    Background: Globally, individuals’ self-assessment of vulnerability to HIV infection is important to maintain safer sexual behaviour and reduce risky behaviours. However, determinants of self-perceived risk of HIV infection are not well documented and differ. We assessed the level of self-perceived vulnerability to HIV infection in Nigeria and also identified its risk factors. Methods: We explored a recent nationally representative data with self-reported vulnerability (‘high’, ‘low’ and ‘no risk at all’) to HIV infection as the outcome of interest. Data were weighted and association between the outcomes and the risk factors determined. We used simple ordered logit regression to model relationship between the outcome variable and risk factors, and controlled for the significant variables in multiple ordered logistic regression at 5% significance level. Results: About 74% had good knowledge of HIV transmission and 6% had experienced STI recently. The likelihood of assessing oneself as having ‘no risk at all’ was 50% and for ‘high chances’ was 1.6%. Self-perceived high risk of HIV was higher among those who recently experienced STI (5.6%) than those who did not (1.7%), and also higher among those who recently engaged in transactional sex and had multiple sexual partners. The odds of good knowledge of HIV transmission on high self-perceived vulnerability to HIV was 19% higher than poor knowledge (OR = 1.19, 95% CI: 1.12–1.27). Also, respondents who recently had multiple sexual partners were 72% (OR = 1.72, 95% CI: 1.60–1.86) more likely to report self as having high risk. Younger respondents aged 14–19 years had higher odds of 41% (OR = 1.41, 95% CI: 1.29–1.55) to perceive self as having high vulnerability to HIV than older respondents. Conclusion: High vulnerability to HIV infection was reported among younger respondents, those with history of STIS and those who engage in multiple sexual relations. Despite high level of risky sexual behaviour and good knowledge of HIV transmission and prevention found in this study, self-perceived vulnerability to HIV generally is low. For the low perception found in this study to translate to low chance of HIV infection, there is need for all stakeholders to embark on risk reduction initiatives through sexual education that would minimise risky sexual practices and ensuring availability and affordability of HIV prevention methods.
  • Covariates of high-risk sexual behaviour of men aged 50 years and above in sub-Saharan Africa

    Clifford O Odimegwu; Nyasha Mutanda (Taylor & Francis Group, 2017-01-01)
    Since the advent of HIV/AIDS, sexuality studies in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have focused mainly on the sexual behaviour of the younger generation (15–49 years) and little has been done to understand the sexual behaviour of those a 50 years and above. The objective of this study is therefore to examine the covariates of high-risk sexual behaviour among men aged 50 years plus within the SSA region. Data from Demographic and Health Surveys of 10 SSA countries were pooled together and a sample of 5394 men aged 50 years plus who have ever had sex was analysed. Findings show that in SSA, a large proportion of men aged 50 years plus (74%) were sexually active and a substantial proportion of these men engaged in unsafe sexual behaviours, such as having multiple sexual partners and unprotected sex. The multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that involvement with multiple sexual partners was significantly associated with older age, urban residence, religion, having primary or secondary education, and ever taken an HIV test. Condom use at last sex was significantly associated with age at first sex, multiple sexual partners, level of education and ever been tested for HIV. These results suggest that HIV prevention and intervention programmes should also target older men as they are also sexually active and at risk of being infected because of unsafe sexual practices.
  • Psychosocial factors predicting risky sexual behaviour among long distance truck drivers in Lagos, Nigeria

    Abiodun Musbau Lawal; Benjamin Oladapo Olley (Taylor & Francis Group, 2017-01-01)
    Long distance truck drivers (LDTDs) have been identified as one of the groups at higher risk for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. Understanding how certain social and psychological variables that have a strong theoretical basis contribute to sexual risk behaviour will guide in the implementation process of HIV risk-reduction intervention in the trucking population. In line with the conceptualisation of Information, Motivation and Behavioural skills model, we examined the extent that HIV knowledge, attitude towards condom use, peer support to condom use, perceived vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, and condom use self-efficacy will independently and jointly explain sexual risk behaviours of LDTDs in a haulage company in Lagos, Nigeria. A cross-sectional survey design was used and 154 drivers with ages ranging from 27 to 68 years (M = 44.03, SD = 8.82) completed copies of a questionnaire comprising demographics and measures of psychological variables. Psychological factors that included HIV knowledge, attitude towards condom use, perceived vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, peer support to condom use, and condom use self-efficacy significantly jointly predicted sexual risk behaviours (R2 = .59, F(5, 148) = 42.63; p < .05), by accounting for about 59% of the explained variance in sexual risk behaviours. Social factors that included age, number of years of education, number of wives, number of intercourses in the last three months, number of partners apart from primary partners, and number of weeks spent outside home significantly jointly predicted sexual risk behaviour (R2 = .15, F(6, 147) = 4.39; p < .05) by accounting for about 15% of the explained variance in sexual risk behaviour among the drivers. It is concluded that all the psychological and social factors examined as predictor variables could jointly play important roles in prevention intervention programmes for reducing sexual risk behaviours of LDTDs. Stakeholders should sensitise LDTDs on the need to realise that they are a high-risk group and are more vulnerable to HIV infection; thus, behaviour change is indispensable in their sexual relationships.
  • Obituary: Dr Dimitri Tassiopoulos

    Nancy Phaswana-Mafuya (Taylor & Francis Group, 2017-01-01)
  • A new measurement of an indirect measure of condom use and its relationships with barriers

    Einav Levy; Yori Gidron; Benjamin O. Olley (Taylor & Francis Group, 2017-01-01)
    One of the challenges facing researchers in the domain of human immunodeficiency virus prevention is the assessment of condom use in an unbiased self-reported manner. The current study presents the development and preliminary validation of an indirect condom use test (I-CUTE), designed to assess condom use tendencies and to overcome self-report biases. Two samples were included using correlational designs. In sample 1, 88 students from European university completed the I-CUTE with questionnaires of condom use barriers, social desirability, and condom use negotiation self-efficacy. In sample 2, 212 students from sub-Saharan universities completed the I-CUTE with questionnaires of condom use barriers and knowledge. The I-CUTE included 17 pictures of human figures in relation to condom use, where participants had to choose one of the four a-priori given sentences reflecting the figures’ thoughts. This represented a semi-projective, yet standardized test. In sample 1, I-CUTE scores were inversely related to barriers, positively correlated with condom use negotiation self-efficacy and unrelated to social desirability. In sample 2, I-CUTE scores were inversely related to barriers and unrelated to knowledge scores. In a multiple regression, condom use barriers had a unique contribution to explaining variance in I-CUTE scores, beyond the contribution of background variables and knowledge. These results support the preliminary reliability and validity of the I-CUTE tool in a variety of cultures, and reveal its lack of bias by social desirability and the importance of condom use barriers in condom use tendencies.
  • Life skills as a behaviour change strategy in the prevention of HIV and AIDS: Perceptions of students in an open and distance learning institution

    B.J. Mohapi; E.M. Pitsoane (Taylor & Francis Group, 2017-01-01)
    The prevention of HIV and AIDS, especially amongst young people, is very important, as they are the future leaders. South Africa carries a high burden of the HIV and AIDS disease, and efforts at the prevention of the disease need to be intensified. University students are also at risk, and prevention efforts need to be intensified to ensure that students graduate and enter the world of work to become productive citizens. Failure to pay attention to preventative behaviour amongst university students may have negative socio-economic consequences for the country. The paper presents a quantitative study undertaken amongst students at the University of South Africa, an Open and Distance Learning Institution in South Africa. The aim of the study was to explore the perceptions of students regarding life skills as a behaviour change strategy at Unisa. The study was conducted in the three regions of the University: Midlands region, Gautengregion and Limpopo region. Data were collected by means of self-administered questionnaires and were analysed by using the Statistical Programme for Social Sciences. The findings revealed that students have a need to attend life skills workshops, which are facilitated by trained student counsellors since they believe that the life skills training will assist them to be assertive and practise behaviours which will not make them vulnerable to the HIV and AIDS infection.
  • Policy-maker attitudes to the ageing of the HIV cohort in Botswana

    Kabo Matlho; Refelwetswe Lebelonyane; Tim Driscoll; Joel Negin (Taylor & Francis Group, 2017-01-01)
    Background: The roll out of antiretroviral therapy in Botswana, as in many countries with near universal access to treatment, has transformed HIV into a complex yet manageable chronic condition and has led to the emergence of a population aging with HIV. Although there has been some realization of this development at international level, no clear defined intervention strategy has been established in many highly affected countries. Therefore we explored attitudes of policy-makers and service providers towards HIV among older adults (50 years or older) in Botswana. Methods: We conducted qualitative face-to-face interviews with 15 consenting personnel from the Ministry of Health, medical practitioners and non-governmental organizations involved in the administration of medical services, planning, strategies and policies that govern social, physical and medical intervention aimed at people living with HIV and health in general. The Shiffman and Smith Framework of how health issues become a priority was used as a guide for our analysis. Results: Amidst an HIV prevalence of 25% among those aged 50–64 years, the respondents passively recognized the predicament posed by a population aging with HIV but exhibited a lack of comprehension and acknowledgement of the extent of the issue. An underlying persistent ageist stigma regarding sexual behaviour existed among a number of interviewees. Respondents also noted the lack of defined geriatric care within the provision of the national health care system. There seemed, however, to be a debate among the policy strategists and care providers as to whether the appropriate response should be specifically towards older adults living with HIV or rather to improve health services for older adults more generally. Respondents acknowledged that health systems in Botswana are still configured for individual diseases rather than coexisting chronic diseases even though it has become increasingly common for patients, particularly the aged, to have two or more medical conditions at the same time. Conclusions: HIV among older adults remains a low priority among policy-makers in Botswana but is at least now on the agenda. Action will require more concerted efforts to recognize HIV as a lifelong infection and putting greater emphasis on targeted care for older adults, focussing on multimorbidity.
  • Reducing substance use and risky sexual behaviour among drug users in Durban, South Africa: Assessing the impact of community-level risk-reduction interventions

    C.D.H. Parry; T. Carney; P. Petersen Williams (Taylor & Francis Group, 2017-01-01)
    Alcohol and other drug (AOD) use is increasingly recognised as having a direct and indirect effect on the transmission of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). However, there is evidence to suggest that drug- and sex-related HIV risk-reduction interventions targeted at drug users within drug treatment centres or via community outreach efforts can lead to positive health outcomes. This study aimed to test whether a community-level intervention aimed at AOD users has an impact on risky AOD use and sexual risk behaviour. In 2007, in collaboration with a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) in Durban, an initiative was begun to implement a number of harm reduction strategies for injection and non-injection drug users. The NGO recruited peer outreach workers who received intensive initial training, which was followed by six-monthly monitoring and evaluation of their performance. Participants had to be 16 years of age or older, and self-reported alcohol and/or drug users. Peer outreach workers completed a face-to-face baseline questionnaire with participants which recorded risk behaviours and a risk-reduction plan was developed with participants which consisted of reducing injection (if applicable) and non-injection drug use and sex-related risks. Other components of the intervention included distribution of condoms, risk-reduction counselling, expanded access to HIV Testing Services, HIV/sexually transmitted infection care and treatment, and referrals to substance abuse treatment and social services. At follow-up, the baseline questionnaire was completed again and participants were also asked the frequency of reducing identified risk behaviours. Baseline information was collected from 138 drug users recruited into the study through community-based outreach, and who were subsequently followed up between 2010 and 2012. No injection drug users were reached. The data presented here are for first contact (baseline) and the final follow-up contact with the participants. There were no decreases in drug use practices such as use of cannabis, heroin, cocaine and Ecstasy after the intervention with drug users; however, there was a significant reduction in alcohol use following the intervention. While there was a substantial increase in the proportion of participants using drugs daily as opposed to more often, the reduction in the frequency of drug use was not statistically significant. Following the intervention, drug users had significantly fewer sexual partners, but there were no significant differences following the intervention with regard to frequency of sex or use of condoms. Substance use in general and during sex was, however, decreased. While the findings were mixed, the study shows that it is possible to provide HIV risk-reduction services to a population of substance users who are less likely to receive services through community outreach, and provide risk-reduction information, condoms and condom demonstration and other services. More intensive interventions might be needed to have a substantial impact on substance use and substance use-related HIV risk behaviours.
  • Rethinking HIV-prevention for school-going young people based on current behaviour patterns

    Maretha Visser (Taylor & Francis Group, 2017-01-01)
    The aim of the research was to gain increased knowledge regarding the sexual risk behaviour of school-going young people in South Africa after two decades of HIV-education in schools, to contribute to the development of improved HIV prevention strategies. In collaboration with the Department of Education, a sample of 5305 learners (between 10 and 18 years in Grades 5–12) from high-risk communities were identified. They completed a survey that assessed self-reported sexual risk behaviour and variables that potentially underlie sexual risk, such as attitudes towards preventive behaviour, perceived social norms and self-efficacy (based on the theory of planned behaviour [TPB]) and social factors like caregiver relationships and gender norms (based on the social ecological theory). Lifetime sex was reported by 49.4% of boys and 30.5% of girls in Grades 8–12, while 56% of the sexually active young people reported consistent condom use. Accurate knowledge about HIV transmission was low (37.8%). Regression analysis showed that risk behaviour was more prominent among older male youths, who perceived social norms as encouraging sexual activity, who use alcohol excessively, and who have negative attitudes towards abstinence. Perceived traditional community gender norms and negative relationships with caregivers were also associated with sexual risk behaviour. This research showed that the TPB can be used in planning HIV prevention interventions for young people. It also revealed that HIV-prevention strategies should focus beyond educating the individual, to address community factors such as improving caregiver relationships, the culture of substance abuse, peer group norms and inequality in community gender norms. These community processes influence young people's behaviour and need to be addressed to allow the youth to make healthy behavioural choices.

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