An investigation of the form of HIV/AIDS and reproductive health education (RHE) in South African secondary schools for the Deaf and the factors influencing teacher implementation thereof.
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The HIV/AIDS pandemic is having a devastating effect on the South African population. Most affected are young people between 15 and 24. HIV/AIDS research has paid little attention to youth in the D/deaf population. Schools play an important role in the reproductive health of youth as they reach youth at a formative time in their development. Aim: To investigate the form of HIV/AIDS and RHE in South African secondary schools for the D/deaf, together with factors associated with teacher implementation thereof. Methodology: The sample was made up of 33 Life Orientation teachers from 16 secondary schools for the Deaf in 6 South African provinces. Quantitative methodology was used to obtain descriptive data and to determine any associations between demographic/ contextual variables and the study's theoretical framework (Theory of Planned Behaviour); qualitative data also aided in answering of the research question. Results: HIV/AIDS and RH education is being implemented at South African secondary schools for the D/deaf and LO teachers recognise the importance of HIV/AIDS and RHE for their D/deaf learners. Despite high coverage levels, a number of obstacles are hindering the optimum implementation of HIV/AIDS and RHE: 1) lack of learner assessment in the HIV/AIDS and RHE portion of the LO curriculum 2) unclear policy mandates regarding the weighting of HIV/AIDS and RHE in the LO curriculum 3) inadequate teacher proficiency in SASL 4) the use of a mainstream LO curriculum that was not specifically developed for Deaf learners 5) the moralistic viewpoints of certain teachers 6) problems with teacher access to suitable HIV/AIDS and RHE training. A number of significant associations between TPB constructs and demographic/contextual variables were also found. Recommendations for future interventions and research are delineated and limitations of the study are discussed.