Obstacles to HIV prevention, treatment and care in selected public universities in South Africa

  • Blessing Mbatha


South Africa, like the rest of Southern Africa, is ravaged by AIDS. Higher education in South Africa has a significant role to play in the fight against the spread of HIV and AIDS. This article reports the factors contributing to the spread of HIV and AIDS in three selected public universities in South Africa. To achieve the stated aim, the study answered the following research question: What are the factors contributing to the spread of HIV and AIDS in South African public universities? The problem in this study stems from South Africa’s HIV and AIDS infection rate, one of the highest in the world, especially in KwaZulu-Natal. A qualitative approach was adopted by conducting focus group interviews with the students. The data were analysed using axial coding and open coding, where dominant themes from the discussions were identified and discussed in detail. The findings show that barriers to HIV and AIDS prevention, care and treatment exist in the tertiary institutions under study. Social and economic interventions are needed to stem the spread of HIV and AIDS at tertiary institutions. A range of recommendations for halting the spread of HIV and AIDS in these institutions is provided.

Keywords: AIDS pandemic, barriers to HIV prevention, HIV and AIDS, HIV treatment and care, KwaZulu-Natal province, sexually transmitted diseases, South African public universities, tertiary institutions

African Journal of AIDS Research 2014, 13(3): 237–246

Author Biography

Blessing Mbatha
Department of Communication Science, P/Bag x 392, University of South Africa, Pretoria, 0003, South Africa

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1608-5906
print ISSN: 1727-9445