Original Articles

The impact of the HIV epidemic on the composite wellbeing of educators in South Africa: a qualitative study


Abstract

In South Africa, support is available for educators who are HIV-positive, and there are numerous initiatives to curb further HIV infections. What is lacking though is an understanding of how the HIV epidemic impacts on educators who are affected personally or professionally. For this reason a qualitative study was undertaken with 25 affected educators from the Gauteng and Free State provinces. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to determine how the epidemic is impacting the health of educators who are affected but not HIV infected. The results suggest that affected educators are in need of interventions that target health promotion, since those who participated reported poor physical, emotional, social, spiritual and professional health. The results also suggest that some educators do cope with the overall impact of the epidemic, implying that resilient functioning among affected educators should be promoted.

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