Staff and Students` Perception of an HIV/AIDS` Strategy: A Case Study of a South African Rural-Based University

Peter Thomas Sandy, Azwihangwisi Helen Mavhandu-Mudzusi


Background: South African communities have high rates of people living with HIV and AIDS. Universities, particularly those in rural regions are examples of communities noted to be high risk areas of these infections. HIV/AIDS strategies were developed and implemented by higher education institutions to address this concern. Despite this, the prevalence and incidence of HIV and AIDS remain high in academic settings. Yet studies in this area in South Africa are rare. Aim: This paper reports on a study that explored the perceptions of students and staff of the HIV/AIDS strategy of a rural-based university in South Africa. Method: Hermeneutic phenomenological methodology was adopted. Data were collected using semi-structured individual interviews (n=12 student, n= 10 staff). The data were analysed thematically using Diekelmann, Allen & Tanner`s (1989) seven-stage framework of data analysis. Results: Three major themes emerged from the data analysis: HIV/AIDS services, management of HIV/AIDS services, and barriers to utilisation of HIV/AIDS services. Conclusion: Staff working in HIV/AIDS service requires training and support to enhance their skills, knowledge and adopt non-discriminatory practices.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n20p2729

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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