Life skills as a behaviour change strategy in the prevention of HIV and AIDS: perceptions of students in an open and distance learning institution

Case Studies & Research
9 p.
Periodical title
SAHARA-J: Journal of Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS, 14:1, 77-84

The prevention of HIV and AIDS, especially amongst young people, is very important, as they are the future leaders. South Africa carries a high burden of the HIV and AIDS disease, and efforts at the prevention of the disease need to be intensified. University students are also at risk, and prevention efforts need to be intensified to ensure that students graduate and enter the world of work to become productive citizens. Failure to pay attention to preventative behaviour amongst university students may have negative socio-economic consequences for the country. The paper presents a quantitative study undertaken amongst students at the University of South Africa, an Open and Distance Learning Institution in South Africa. The aim of the study was to explore the perceptions of students regarding life skills as a behaviour change strategy at Unisa. The study was conducted in the three regions of the University: Midlands region, Gautengregion and Limpopo region. Data were collected by means of self-administered questionnaires and were analysed by using the Statistical Programme for Social Sciences. The findings revealed that students have a need to attend life skills workshops, which are facilitated by trained student counsellors since they believe that the life skills training will assist them to be assertive and practise behaviours which will not make them vulnerable to the HIV and AIDS infection.

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