HIV/AIDS education in South Africa: knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of high school learners in Paarl and Wellington
In South Africa about 1500 people become HIV infected every day. More than half of these new infections occur in young people. HIV/AIDS programmes have been implemented to combat the disease, but yet the incidences are still on the increase.
The aim of this study was to determine the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of high school learners about HIV/AIDS in the Paarl and Wellington area.
This study made use of a quantitative study design, by means of a self-administered questionnaire in order to reflect the knowledge, attitudes and beliefs of high school learners in the Paarl and Wellington areas regarding HIV/AIDS. Convenient sampling was used to obtain a large enough sample size to represent the learner population represented by the high schools in Paarl and Wellington. Data analysis was done using
the SPSS version 10.0 to obtain frequencies, means and percentages. Cross-tabulations were done to determine relationships between variables.
This study confirms that the learners have basic knowledge regarding HIV/AIDS. The learners make use of this knowledge during some stages of their decision-making but a lack of more in-depth knowledge in certain
areas may put them at risk of becoming HIV infected. They might not perceive themselves to be at risk. Their beliefs and attitudes in some instances did afford them the opportunity to make certain safer choices
regarding their sexual health.
It is evident that the HIV/AIDS education programmes is making an impact to improve the knowledge of the learners. Further research is however needed to find even more effectives means to provide learners and
the rest of the population with more in-depth knowledge regarding HIV/AIDS.
Asiimwe-Okiror, G., Opio, A., Musinguzi, J., Madraa, E.,
Tembo, G. & Carael, M. (1997). Changes in Sexual Behaviour and Decline in HIV Infection among Young Pregnant Women in Urban Uganda. AIDS 11, 1757-1764.
Blecher, M., Steinberg, M., Pick, W., Hennick, M. & Durcan, N. (1995). AIDS – knowledge, attitudes and practices among STD clinic attenders in the Cape Peninsula. South African Medical Journal. 18,1281-1286.
Department of Health (2002). National HIV and syphilis sero-prevalence survey of women attending public antenatal clinics in South Africa 2001. Pretoria: Department of Health.
Dickson-Tetteh, K. & Ladha, S. (2000). Youth health. South African Health Review 2000. Durban: Health Systems Trust: 393-409.
Eaton, L. & Flisher, A.J. (2000). Review: HIV/AIDS knowledge among South African youth. South African Journal of Child and Adolescent Mental Health, 12, 97-125.
Everatt, D. & Orkin, M. (1993). Growing up tough: A national survey of South African youth. CASE National Youth Survey for the Joint Enrichment Project. Johannesburg: Community Agency for Social Enquiry.
Groce, N. & Trasi, R. (2004). Rape of individuals with disability: AIDS and the folk belief of virgin cleansing. Lancet, 363, 1663-1664 PMID 15158626
Kenyon, C., Heywood, M., Conway, M and Conway, S (2001). Mainstreaming HIV/AIDS: progress and challenges. South African Health Review. Durban:Health Systems Trust:161-183.
Meel, B.L. (2003). The myth of child rape as a cure for HIV/AIDS in Transkei: a case report. Medical Science Law 43, 85-88 PMID 12627683
Peltzer, K. & Seoka, P. (2002) HIV/AIDS Knowledge, Attitudes, Beliefs and Behaviours among Rural South African Youth: Implications for Health Education. African Journal for Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance 8(1): 1-25.
Phoolcharoen, W. (1998) HIV/AIDS Prevention in Thailand: Success and Challenges. Science 280(5371): 1873-1874.
Richter, L. (1996). A survey of reproductive health issues among urban black youth in South Africa. Centre for Epidemiological Research in South Africa, Pretoria.
Shisana, O. & Simbayi, L. (2002). Nelson Mandela/ Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) Study of HIV/AIDS - South African National HIV Prevalence, Behavioural Risks and Mass Media Household Survey 2002.
Cape Town: Human Sciences Research Council 2002. http://www.hsrcpublishers.co.za/hiv.html The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS/ World
Health Organisation (2000) AIDS campaign with children and young people. (http://www.unaids.org) Statistics South Africa :Census 2001 http://www.statssa.gov.za/SpecialProject/Census2 001/Census/Dialog/ Saveshow.asp
Shisana O et al. (2005). South African national HIV prevalence, HIV incidence, behaviour and communication survey. Pretoria, Human Sciences Research Council.
Torabi, M. & Yarber, W. (1992). Alternate forms of the HIV prevention attitude scale for teenagers. AIDS Education and Therapy 4: 172-182.
Turner, C., Miller, H. & Moses, L. (1989) eds. AIDS:
Sexual Behavior and Intravenous Drug Use. Washington, D.C., National Academy Press, 1989.
United Nations Children’s Fund / The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS /World Health Organization. Young People and HIV/AIDS: Opportunity in Crisis. Geneva: UNICEF/UNAIDS/WHO(2002). Available at:
Uwalaka, E. & Matsuo, H. (2002). Impact Of Knowledge, Attitude and Beliefs About AIDS On Sexual Behavioural Change Among College Students in Nigeria: The Case of the University of Nigeria NSUKKA. West Africa Review Journal: 3(2):66-82.
Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.