Indigenous belief systems and HIV/AIDS in South Africa: Examining HIV/AIDS communication from a cultural psychological perspective
The high prevalence of HIV/AIDS in South Africa has induced the necessity for effective communication of HIV/AIDS messages. Communication scholars have stressed the need for HIV/AIDS messages to be communicated within specific cultural paradigms. In South Africa where the prevalence of HIV/AIDS is high in black townships and rural communities, the need to present HIV/AIDS messages in the cultural paradigm and indigenous belief systems of this segment of society cannot be overemphasised. This paper examines the need to contextualise HIV/AIDS communication within a cultural paradigm by closely examining the influence of culture at a cognitive level and the belief systems that are specific to African indigenous societies. Using a qualitative method that focuses on literary review of articles and books, this paper argues that a successful health behaviour change can only be achieved if the methodology that guides the intervention is foregrounded on specific cultural norms and values of African indigenous societies in South Africa.
Keywords: African Indigenous beliefs, HIV/AIDS Communication, Cultural psychology, Behaviour Change, South Africa