A social group work empowerment programme for male youth who are on antiretroviral therapy
Mabo-Bungane, Xoliswa Patricia
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The HIV and Aids pandemic not only has an impact on women but also on men. Young people in their early and late adolescent years, between the ages 12 and 24 years of age, find themselves in a period of exploration and experimentation that can enhance high-risk sexual behaviour. In research done in South Africa it was estimated that half of all young men and woman are sexually active by the age of 16. Unfortunately, we in South Africa live in an era where HIV and AIDS do not allow such behaviours and this situation makes male youths one of the most vulnerable groups in our society to be infected by the HI-virus. This study focused on male youths on ARV therapy (ART). The antiretroviral therapy requires maximum adherence from the people living with HIV and AIDS. Adherence to antiretroviral therapy poses a great challenge to the youth, especially if they are unemployed and have families who depend on them for financial as well as emotional support. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of a social group work empowerment programme on male youths undergoing ARV therapy. To achieve the aim of this study the following objectives were set: • To investigate the needs of male youths on ARV therapy in a rural area. This objective was achieved by obtaining a theoretical perspective from the literature as well as undertaking empirical research by means of the interviewing process. According to these findings male youths on ARV therapy have many needs, such as the need for more information on ARV therapy, the role of the Departments of Health and Social Development, the role of social workers, and how to disclose their HIV status to people other than their family members. • To determine the role of social group work in empowering male youths who are on anti-retroviral therapy to cope with the illness and ARV therapy by means of a literature study. It was important for the researcher to do a literature study on social group work to enhance her knowledge and skills, because this is a method of social work that she not often implemented in practice. • To develop and implement a social group work programme for male youths on ARV therapy. The social group work empowerment programme for male youth on ARV therapy was implemented over nine group work sessions and tested on 10 respondents who were part of the needs assessment and were willing to be part of the group work programme in the rural area of the Motheo District. The programme consisted of nine group sessions with different topics discussed in each session for the empowerment of the target group. According to the group members, they acquired adequate skills to enable them to act properly in solving their problems. The programme impacted a lot on how they felt about themselves and the circumstances around them. • To evaluate the effectiveness of the social group work empowerment programme on male youths on ARV therapy. This objective was achieved in the sense that the general satisfaction of the young men had increased according to the Generalized Contentment Scale (GCS) of Perspective Training College. The measuring scale was utilized before the first session started, at the end of the fifth session (in the middle measurement phase), and at the end of the last session. The findings from the research indicated that significant personal growth had taken place among the male youth on ARV therapy in a rural area. Scientifically proven research emerged from this study and proved that a well-designed social group work empowerment programme can enhance the social functioning and general contentment of the male youths on ARV therapy.
- Humanities