SA Journal of Education, Vol 29, No 2 (2009)

Examining the impact of HIV&AIDS on South African educators

Julia Louw, Olive Shisana, Karl Peltzer, Nompumelelo Zungu

Abstract


Our aim in this study was to examine the impact of HIV&AIDS on South African educators. A cross-sectional survey was conducted in public schools combining HIV testing and a face-to-face interview with participants from a nationally representative sample of public educators. The results show that HIV is highly prevalent among South African public educators (12.7%) and the educators who are absent from school for longer periods (20 days or more) compared with those who are absent for less than four days have higher HIV prevalence (16.8% vs 11.95%). Educators also spend time away from teaching while they attend funerals for colleagues who have died (6.7%), for family members (13.4%) and
for members of their communities (47.6%). This makes them feel depressed (71%). These results suggest that HIV&AIDS has an impact on the quality of education. There is a need to prevent new HIV infections and reduce morbidity
through the implementation of comprehensive integrated prevention and treatment programmes targeted at educators. There is also a need to support educators in coping with the problem of HIV&AIDS at work and in the community.

Keywords: education; educators; HIV&AIDS; vulnerable children

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