n African Journal for Physical Activity and Health Sciences (AJPHES) - Factors that predispose South African rural university students with disabilities to HIV infections - : health

Volume 22 Number 1-2
  • ISSN : 2411-6939


While there is a reduction in the incidence and prevalence of HIV among general population, studies indicate the opposite among people with disabilities. The possible causes for the increase in HIV among this population were attributed to limited knowledge related to HIV/AIDS information and untargeted services to address the HIV/AIDS related needs for people with disabilities. The greatest challenge is that the picture among people with disabilities in general population, is also the same with what is happening in the institutions of higher education. The purpose of this study was to explore the factors which predispose South African rural university students with disabilities to HIV infection. A qualitative, interpretative phenomenological analysis study was conducted. Sixteen students with various physical disabilities, purposively recruited using snowballing techniques participated in the study. Data were collected using semi-structured individual interviews and analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis framework for data analysis. The following themes emerged from the data analysis: (1) Psychosocial needs of students with disabilities, (2) economic status of 'abled' students, (3) university culture, and (4) limited information regarding HIV/AIDS of students with disabilities. This study recommends the use of a multi-pronged approach to address the involvement of students with disabilities in risky sexual behaviours. The approach should target the provision of information, communication and educational HIV/AIDS materials relevant to students with disabilities, addressing sexual abuse of students with disabilities and structural aspects such as overcrowding in student residential areas.

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