Sources of HIV/AIDS information used by residential students on the Pietermaritzburg campus of the University of Natal.
The study was conducted to identify the sources of HIV/AIDS information used by residential university students on the Pietermaritzburg campus of the former University of Natal. HIV/AIDS is one of the scourges that the world is faced with. South Africa, before the 1994 elections, was fighting the obvious enemy, apartheid. The enemy now is the silent killer, HIV/AIDS. The future leaders, the students of this country, need to be challenged to behave in a manner that will bring about a change in their sexual behaviour, so that no students are lost to the AIDS epidemic and neither are the skills that they have acquired. The research was conducted at the then University of Natal (now known as the University of KwaZulu-Natal). The researcher administered a questionnaire to residential students of Pietermaritzburg campus to determine the sources of HIV/AIDS information used by them. There were four residences included in the study, namely Denison, Malherbe Hall, Petrie Hall and William O'Brien Hall. The study argues that it is time for the university sector and its partners to take stock of a situation that might quickly outpace the institutions. AIDS has become an everyday reality in the university system . There is a need for a clearer, more forceful definition of roles and responsibilities amongst all the partners in response to the epidemic. Provision of relevant information in an appropriate format needs to be an integral part of the University's response to HIV/AIDS. The study found that the residential students were generally satisfied with the existing sources of HIV/AIDS information. They did encounter problems in finding information in some of the sources given in the study. The study revealed that some of the sources of HIV/AIDS information were used more than others. The study suggested that the sources that are most frequently used should be utilised by information providers or university information stakeholders to disseminate information on HIV/AIDS among students. This study should help the University of KwaZulu-Natal to improve the information - related aspect of its HIV/AIDS intervention strategies at a time when the HIV/AIDS epidemic is threatening the academic sphere and the whole community at large.