AIDS Awareness and Sexual Behavior Change in South Africa
This chapter addresses the issue of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) from a health psychology perspective, deals with a brief discussion of the challenges posed by AIDS to South Africa and highlights prevention as the only sure way of controlling its spread. South Africa has one of the fastest-growing AIDS epidemics in the world, with up to 2,000 people being infected by the human immunodeficiency virus daily. Despite the optimism of finding a future cure for AIDS, the treatments are too costly to help curb the disease in developing countries such as South Africa. One of the first published knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and practices studies on AIDS conducted in South Africa was that of C. Mathews et al. which was undertaken on township high school students. The effectiveness of AIDS prevention programs can be explained in terms of what is referred to as the health belief model in health psychology.