An interpretive evaluation of a positive rights based sexual health programme for Grade 11 learners in a secondary school in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal.
Advances in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS in the past 15 years have led to a reputable decline in the rate of new infections and a reduction of HIV related deaths. However, the prevalence rate in the Sub-Saharan region reveals that HIV/AIDS still meets general epidemic criteria. South Africa is the country with the highest number of people living with HIV. While there is a number of sexual health programmes aimed at South African youth their effectiveness is not the same for all programmes. Thus, there is a continued need to evaluate implemented interventions to assess for effectiveness. This study was initiated as a response to the need for an evaluation of an annual youth sexuality and sexual health programme offered by service learning university students. Objective: In this study, a process evaluation of a sexuality and sexual health programme designed and implemented by HIV/AIDS Service learning module students was evaluated. The learners’ subjective experience of the programme was explored. The learners’ evaluation of the programme in comparison to other programmes, the experience of being taught by University students, and areas of interests related to youth sexuality were explored. Methods: Four focus group interviews were conducted with a sample of 18 learners who had participated in the programme. Interpretive data analysis was used to analyse the data. Findings: The participants were appreciatively receptive to a youth sexuality programme facilitated by service learning university students. Furthermore, the positive rights based approach was recognized by the learners as one that nurtures a comfortable environment for learning about youth sexuality and sexual health. Comparisons with previous sources of information highlighted the perceived relevance of the programme evaluated in this study. Gender inequality, sexual diversity, positive aspects of sexuality and safe sex practices emerged as key areas of interest for learners.
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