The effect of personal and socio- conomic variables on the knowledge, attitude and belief of farm workers about HIV/AIDS, two case studies – a lesson for extension

  • CN Jona
  • SE Terblanché


The seriousness of HIV/AIDS and the effect of the epidemic on the Agricultural sector cannot be ignored anymore. Farm worker communities have been identified as one of the most vulnerable groups in South Africa. The Primary Agriculture and Training Authority (PAETA) invited the organisation People Management to develop and present a HIV/AIDS Intervention Program with the slogan, “If I know my status I can manage it” to two farming communities. Respondents knowledge, attitude and belief before and after the intervention program were determined and according to the results the farm workers knowledge increased from 42%before to 76% after the Intervention Program. Their attitude changed positively from 72% to 85% and their belief about HIV/AIDS changed positively from 48% to 76%. The influence of the socio-economic variables before the Intervention Program indicated that females had a better knowledge and a more positive attitude towards HIV/AIDS than the male respondents. Married respondents also indicated a more realistic belief about HIV/AIDS than the unmarried respondents. After the Intervention Program the most important difference that occurred was between married and unmarried respondents and in favour of the married respondents. Most important however is the fact that every member of the two communities came forward and were tested for HIV/AIDS. Now they know their status and can manage it. For extension services and therefore for Extensionists several lessons have been learned. The program focused on the adoption behaviour of the farm workers. The vision was clear: Participation by all community members and stakeholders ensured; and community members were trained as peer educators. The Intervention Program was intensive and well designed and presented program. A networking system and linkages was in place to support the workers.

South African Journal of Agricultural Extension Vol. 35 (1) 2006: pp. 71-92

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eISSN: 2413-3221
print ISSN: 0301-603X