Various studies have reported a huge increase in the numbers of orphaned adolescents in Sub-Saharan Africa and its effects on their psychological, emotional and behavioural development. Yet, their needs are seldom recognised or adequately addressed in policy and programmes.This article uses a qualitative study to report the experiences of 11 orphaned adolescents (5 boys and 6 girls aged between 15 and 18 years) affected by HIV and AIDS in a secondary school (in Atteridgeville, Pretoria, South Africa) and the school support provided by them. The primary data-generation strategies were informal interviews and the Beck Youth Inventories-II (BYI-II) (adopted to measure the participants’ level of emotional, behavioural and psychological problems). All interview transcriptions with the participants were thematically analysed. BYI-II data were subjected to T scores (in percentages) to know the participant's psychological, behavioural and emotional problems in order to compare it with their perceptions on the degree of support provided by the school. Result shows that participants have a high prevalence of psychological, behavioural and emotional problems and that the school support provided to them (teachers’ support, the general school environment and the degree of discrimination, labelling and bullying that exists in the school) was not sufficient. The participants, however, reported a high level of support from the principal. In conclusion,the authors have suggested the urgent need for teachers to acquire and possess basic knowledge and skills in caring and paying attention to learners affected by HIV and AIDS and for government agencies and NGOs working with HIV-and AIDS-affected children, to focus on proposals that address the psychological, behavioural and emotional problems in such affected adolescents.
SAHARA-J: Journal of Social Aspects of HIV/AIDS, 12:1, 123-133
Record created by