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The management and diffusion of HIV/AIDS information in institutions of higher learning in South Africa

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dc.contributor.advisor Ocholla, D.N.
dc.contributor.author Dube, Luyanda
dc.date.accessioned 2009-07-27T13:23:08Z
dc.date.available 2009-07-27T13:23:08Z
dc.date.issued 2005
dc.identifier.other 313588
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10530/44
dc.description Thesis submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Library and Information Science at the University of Zululand, 2005. en_US
dc.description.abstract The impact of HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus/ acquired immune deficiency syndrome) is devastating worldwide especially among tertiary institutions whose constituencies are within the age bracket between 15-45 years. Unfortunately there is still no cure for the disease, and one way of controlling the rampant nature of the pandemic is through educational and enlightening interventions backed by appropriate information. The aim of the study was to assess the framework, nature and scope of the institutional response as well as the appropriateness of HIV/AIDS information dissemination interventions developed and employed by institutions of higher learning in South Africa for the prevention of the spread of the pandemic. The study was informed by theoretical framework grounded on the Diffusion of Innovations theory. Both qualitative and quantitative research design and methodologies were employed largely through survey, observation and document analysis. The study targeted HIV/AIDS service providers, health centers and institutional libraries within all public universities and technikons in South Africa. The respondents within institutions were identified largely through non-probability sampling techniques such as snowball and purposive sampling. The study mapped out the HIV/AIDS response of the higher education sector in relation to programmes offered and strategies and methods that are used to manage the pandemic and disseminate information. The findings reveal that the response of the higher education sector to HIV/AIDS is not uniform, but there is a positive move towards strong management of HIV/AIDS and information diffusion. Secondly, it is observed that the disease has some impact on institutional mandates such as teaching, learning, research and community service. Unexpectedly, the study confirmed widely held views that are also reported in related studies, that the response of academic institutions to the disease is still characterized by silence, denial, discrimination and stigma as most institutions do not address the disease openly. Thirdly, it was established that in those institutions where there is an AIDS Centre the response seemed to be more systematic and well guided as compared to those that relied on the services of the health centre. Fourthly, there was no distinction made in terms of the nature and strength of the institutional response between service providers that had higher academic qualifications and those that did not have. Most highly qualified respondents though had other academic responsibilities, dealt with HIV/AIDS as additional job. Fifthly, it was easy to distinguish between historically advantaged and disadvantaged institutions, as the tatter had interventions that were underdeveloped and limited in scope and depth. Similarly, universities as compared to technikons demonstrated more intense interventions and better resource provision. Sixth, in most institutions management supports the institutional HIV/AIDS management and response. This involvement was evident through observation on the nature of the response, capacity buildings and resources on the ground. However, it was sadly observed that this executive commitment to HIV/AIDS seemed to be overridden by other priorities such as the reconfiguration and reconstruction of the sector. Further, noted that all institutions have HIV/AIDS policies, but some of them have not implemented these policies. Seven, though the Higher Education HIV/AIDS Programme is coordinating the HIV/AIDS response within the whole sector, it does not seem to have all the answers for the systemic problems that are cropping up. Eight, HiV/AlDS information is disseminated by the institutional libraries, HIV/AIDS service providers and health centers. Mostly, information is disseminated in print form while other modem media seemed to be underutilized and repackaging is not extensively done due, partly, to shortage of resources and capacities. The study found strong link between the theoretical models earlier mentioned and results of the study. Specifically, these theories confirmed the importance of the content of HIV/AIDS messages and the value of horizontal and vertical communication strategies. The study recommends that the institutional response needs to be revamped and redesigned to improve the traditional information dissemination strategies that are used by most academic institutions. Information dissemination strategies should be designed in line with current trends in socio-cultural and political lifestyles of young people. However, though there are still flaws and inefficiencies, the sector is responding positively to the epidemic and efforts are being made to synchronize and coordinate the systemic response. The study recommends further research on feasibility, applicability and effectiveness of the centralized coordination of the higher education HIV/AIDS response. It also recommends that the higher education sector should be more involved in the initiative of the Higher Education HIV/AIDS Programme to make valuable contributions based on experiential encounters. Similarly, strategies should be rapidly implemented to redress past imbalances in relation to strengthening capacities and resources of previously disadvantaged institutions to enable them to deal effectively with the disease. Other issues have been unearthed and a model for effective HIV/AIDS management and information diffusion in the sector suggested. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.subject HIV-positive persons; Information services. en_US
dc.subject AIDS (Disease); Study and teaching (Higher); South Africa. en_US
dc.subject Universities and colleges; Health promotion services; South Africa en_US
dc.subject Education--Higher-- Health aspects--South Africa en_US
dc.title The management and diffusion of HIV/AIDS information in institutions of higher learning in South Africa en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US

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