The knowledge and attitudes of high school learners regarding people living with HIV/AIDS
Podile, Mmathipana Patricia
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The message that is being preached on the streets on a daily basis is that HIV/AIDS has no cure and that it is a fatal disease. The AIDS pandemic is a serious problem, everybody's concern and nobody's fault. If not attended to accordingly and not controlled properly, the epidemic poses a serious threat to the whole nation, therefore every individual is faced with an enormous challenge, especially young people, since today's youths are tomorrow's future. The HIV/AIDS pandemic is continuing to rob both parents and their children of an opportunity of reaching their last mile of development which is old age. HIV/AIDS is not regarded to be the same as any other disease. The situation is getting out of hand as the HIV/AIDS victims are facing a double jeopardy of fighting for their lives, while at the same time, suffering from negative societal attitudes. They are being discriminated against, rejected, ill-treated and not treated with love and respect. Therefore every individual is faced with the huge task of fighting this monster and creating a caring society. A supportive and enabling environment needs to be created so that HIV/AIDS victims can be treated similarly to any other patients. The aim of the study was to explore learners' knowledge of HIV/AIDS and determine their attitudes regarding people living with HIV/AIDS. From the research findings, it was found that learners are knowledgeable about the general facts on the HIV/AIDS pandemic, but that their knowledge concerning certain aspects is limited to some extent, therefore it is deemed necessary to equip and empower them with more and relevant information. With regard to learners' attitudes, it was found that learners have fair and positive attitudes towards people living with AIDS. It is recommended that these positive attitudes and fair knowledge of learners must be sustained. The most effective way to attain this is though education, and schools are the appropriate places to teach young people about HIV prevention. Here they can receive information and skills. It is further recommended that more HIV/AIDS programmes be developed to increase awareness and knowledge with the intention of educating people to recognize and avoid high-risk behaviour.
- Health Sciences