Peer education as a HIV prevention strategy: Perceptions of college students in Durban, South Africa

Case Studies & Research
1 p.

This one page document summarizes a study conducted looking at views of peer education of university students in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. Key findings include: peer educators also benefit from the programme, there are many positive attitudes towards peer education, yet there are barriers that impede participation in such programs and often poor attendance at peer education activities. Conclusions and recommendations include: -The study filled the gap that exist in the research on peer education which has typically focused on the effectiveness of it on changing medium term sexual behaviour, but without relating it to the views of targeted audiences and peer educators themselves about the method. -As peer education stands out as a popular tool in the global efforts to fight the epidemic, there is need to seriously consider findings from both peer educators and their targeted audience so as to develop a peer education programme that endeavors to address the needs of both groups. -However, there should not be an exclusive focus on HIV prevention but also treatment, care and support. -Need for more innovative and interesting ways of motivating students to be more involved in peer education programmes which can include turning the usual forums into social events by encompassing entertainment in the form of games, quizzes and competitions. -In a nutshell, this research has managed to reveal an understanding of peer education from the perspectives of those who will be conveying the message and those who will be receiving the message. It is anticipated that this research may yield useful insights for future peer education programme planners in the area of peer led HIV prevention as well as generating debate about potential measures that future programmes might have to take to enhance their possibility of success.

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