|dc.description.abstract||As a result of the HIV/AIDS problem, South Africa is presently confronted by the worst pandemic in the history of this country. An estimated 4,2 million people in South Africa are already infected with the HI virus. The Faculty of Health Sciences at the PL) for CHE (Focus area 9.1) for this reason undertook to investigate the immune systems of HIV/AIDS patients in the Potchefstroom health district. The aim of this effort was multiple, namely: *to improve by means of oral supplements the immune systems of HIV/AIDS patients in the named health district; *to slow down by means of the above mentioned action the deterioration of patients from HIV to AIDS, and *to improve the sense of well-being and quality of life of HIV/AIDS patients by means of a group work intervention programme. To reach this aim, the following goals had to be attained: *To determine by means of a literature study the nature and extent of HIV/AIDS world-wide. This aim was reached by analysing theoretical perspectives gained from the relevant literature as well as empirical results regarding the nature and extent of HIV/AIDS, especially in South Africa. *To determine by means of a literature study and an empirical investigation the needs of persons diagnosed as being HIV positive or having AIDS. In order to reach this goal, the procedure of survey was used. Schedules were personally completed by the investigator, assisted by field-workers, regarding 110 HIV/AIDS patients. In this manner the needs of the patients could be determined. From the results obtained by this survey, it was evident that HIV/AIDS patients experience various problems and definitely had a need for help. *To investigate by means of a literature study the task of Social Work, and specifically group work, regarding assistance to HIV/AIDS patients. This investigation emphasised that Social Work definitely has a task and responsibility regarding the prevention of HIV/AIDS as well as supplying direct assistance for HIV/AIDS patients. If group work intervention is thoroughly planned, it can render a valuable contribution to the improvement of the sense of well-being and quality of life of these patients. *The aim of the last-mentioned goal was to compile an appropriate programme based on the specific needs of patients and to evaluate it after implementation. This programme was successfully presented in the course of 13 weeks and was in particular suited, not only to improve the knowledge of the HIV/AIDS group members concerning their condition, but also to broaden their insight with regard to the impact of their illness on their social functioning. By means of this programme the group members could develop skills concerning the handling of their condition. *To evaluate the effect of the group work intervention programme on the sense of well-being and quality of life of the patients who have been diagnosed as HIV positive or having AIDS. This goal was attained by measuring on four occasions the sense of well-being and quality of life by means of the measuring scale known as Affectometer 2 (AFM) by Kammann and Flett (1983). The results obtained by this evaluation showed that the group work intervention programme brought about a significant difference in the sense of well-being and quality of life of these HIV/AIDS patients. The sense of well-being of HIV/AIDS patients who participated in the group work intervention programme was significantly higher than that of patients who did not form part of the group work intervention programme.
All in all this research undeniably proved that a scientifically grounded, well-planned group work intervention programme can be successfully implemented to improve the quality of life of HIV/AIDS patients.||