oa SAHARA : Journal of Social Aspects of HIV / AIDS Research Alliance - Knowledge about HIV / AIDS and policy knowledge in a South African state hospital : letter to the editor

Volume 4, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1729-0376
  • E-ISSN: 1813-4424



Sub-Saharan Africa is the epicentre of the HIV / AIDS epidemic. With about 5.6 million people living with HIV / AIDS (PLWHA) in 2004, South Africa has the largest number of PLWHA in a single country (Shisana , 2005; UNAIDS, 2003; UNAIDS, 2006). It is expected that in the coming years the number of PLWHA will increase in South Africa.

Medical staff involved in the hospital care of HIV / AIDS patients in South Africa, especially nurses and doctors, are confronted with a number of problems. Due to the presumed dangers of HIV infection during patient care, medical staff may experience stress when caring for HIV / AIDS patients. Adequate knowledge about HIV / AIDS is an important means to reduce stress and could result in better care and improve information to the general public (Hall & Shisana, 2003; Horsman & Sheeran, 1995; WHO, 2005).

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