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A psychologically ecosystemic programme for supporting learners infected with HIV/AIDS
Sithole, Mthethwa Isaac
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The aims of this research were to investigate the effects of HIVIAIDS on the psychological and physical well being of learners; determine whether learners suffering from HIVIAIDS are ecosystemically supported; and make suggestions for an ecosystemic approach to supporting learners who are suffering from HIVIAIDS. The literature review revealed that the HIVIAIDS epidemic is seriously affecting the psychological and physical well being of learners. This is due to the effects of the epidemic's associated opportunistic diseases such as, among others, weight loss, dry cough, recurring fever or profuse night sweats, profound and unexplained fatigue, swollen lymph glands in the armpits, groin, or neck, diarrhoea that lasts for more than a week, white spots or unusual blemishes on the tongue, in the mouth, or in the throat, red, brown, pink, or purplish blotches on or under the skin or inside the mouth, nose, or eyelids; memory loss, concentration, creativity, depression, and other neurological disorders; tuberculosis, pneumonia, gastro-enteritis, meningitis and cancer which affect both the physical and psychological well being of learners suffering from both HIV and AIDS. The empirical investigation revealed that learners infected with HIVIAIDS have emotional responses to their condition of being infected with this disease. For example, both learner participants who formed the case study of this research experienced shock, blaming the parent who infected them, having nightmares, suicidal, confusion, fear of death and denial; participants were withdrawn after their status was revealed to them, it took them time to recover from the shock of being diagnosed HIV positive. The empirical research also revealed that it becomes difficult for learners suffering from HIVIAIDS to concentrate on their school work as their minds are always preoccupied with the idea that their death can come at any time. Recommendations for further research and for practical implementation of findings from both the literature review and empirical research were made.
- Education