HIV and AIDS Awareness among Children with Mental Retardation in Masvingo Urban: A Teacher’s Viewpoint
The study sought to establish the level of HIV and AIDS awareness among children with mental retardation in Masvingo urban of southern Zimbabwe. Openness to the subject of sexuality and HIV and AIDS is considered as taboo in many African cultures. To persons with disabilities, let alone individuals with mental retardation, sexuality and HIV are still areas of grave concern, which still require further study and investigation, hence the interest in the present study. A questionnaire was administered on twenty teachers of children with mental retardation in two institutions. Data was presented in tables and results analysed. The study revealed that teachers agreed that children with mental retardation were sensitized to problems relating to HIV and AIDS. The responses from teachers indicated that the HIV and AIDS sensitisation programme in the schools was an effective awareness tool. There is need for more school based awareness campaigns to sensitize the children with mental retardation on the effects of HIV and AIDS transmission and infection. The need for communal participation in the awareness programmes is also highlighted.