Educating adolescents about AIDS : a policy analysis of AIDS education programmes in KwaZulu-Natal high schools.
This thesis is concerned with an evaluation of AIDS education in KwaZulu-Natal schools. Although HIV and AIDS affect all segments of the population and all age groups, prevention efforts aimed at the youth may be the most effective. HIV/AIDS is a disease most prevalent in the fifteen to thirty-five age group, and if we can decrease rates of transmission in people under twenty, we will save much money, pain and suffering in the next ten years. It is often seen as prudent to save young generations, rather than older ones, and this may be especially true in the case of HIV/AIDS, where HIV/AIDS in the younger, reproductive age groups leads to the very youngest group, that it, babies, being born HIV-positive. In addition, the younger generation may be more easy to save: they have not yet formed unsafe sexual practices, and educating them before they develop habits is easier than changing habits of the older generation. I assessed various education departments' AIDS education programmes, based on the criteria of how well pupils are assisted in changing their unsafe sexual practices, or, if they are not yet sexually active, their attitudes towards sex, and on what type of message and ideal is presented about sexuality and sexual activity. Judged by my framework, I found the existent programmes to be lacking. But this act of assessment allowed for a more thorough evaluation of AIDS education in the region to emerge, and from this, recommendations for AIDS prevention programmes to be developed: AIDS education must occur in the context of more general skills development, skills in negotiating sexuality and sexual relationships, and skills for the negotiation of life in the late twentieth century. Innovative developments in the region, regarding AIDS and sexuality education teacher training, and the development of minimum criteria by which to set up and judge programmes, could be used as the basis for a sound AIDS education programme.
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