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n African Journal for Physical Health Education, Recreation and Dance - Experiences of students living with HIV/AIDS regarding the support group : a case of University of Fort Hare, Alice campus, South Africa

Volume 20, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1117-4315

Abstract

South Africa has the highest HIV and AIDS epidemic statistics in the world, especially people under 25 years of age. University students are implicated, thus support groups in this context are crucial to help them cope with their unique circumstances. The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of support groups for students living with HIV/AIDS (SLWHA) at the University of Fort Hare, Alice campus, South Africa. Interviews were used to explore the experiences and challenges of SLWHA. The study shows that support groups are pivotal to the wellbeing of SLWHA in meeting diverse needs such as sense fo belonging, emotional, psychological, socio-economic and health needs as well as in providing the necessary information and knowledge. Support group members experience relatively similar living experiences, dynamic as their various lives are; they are able to share their emotions and problems arising from their HIV statuses, thereby lessening their burdens. Negative experiences like confidentiality, depression and stress were observed. University support groups can be improved through structured programmes that include various stakeholders like health professionals (wellness centre), university management and academics within the university. Also, expanding their borders via the use of social networks, and expanding their activities to include music, sports, vegetable gardening, group visitations, skills training, and other useful projects would help to improve the lives of victims and prevent infections of other community members.

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/content/ajpherd/20/4/EJC166103
2014-12-01
2020-09-23

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