Academic journal article Education

Male Adolescents' View on Sexual Activity as Basis for the Development of Aids-Prevention Programmes

Academic journal article Education

Male Adolescents' View on Sexual Activity as Basis for the Development of Aids-Prevention Programmes

Article excerpt


The Aquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) was identified during 1979 and 1980. The Human Immuno Deficiency Virus (HIV) was subsequently isolated in 1981. AIDS is regarded as the most destructive health problem of the twentieth century with the potential to change the demographic projections of the world (De la Rey, Duncan, Shefer & Van Niekerk, 1997). "Along with violent crime, AIDS constitutes the biggest threat to South African Society since the death of apartheid" (Sunter, 1996). AIDS amongst adolescents initially received little attention as the impact of the HIV/AIDS-pandemic was most apparent amongst adults and babies. "Grouped with either adults or children, or sometimes not present in the equation at all, the needs and responses specific to youths have fallen through the cracks of AIDS-prevention and care" (Tonks, 1996). According to Friedland and Snipelisky (Olivier, Goliath & Venter 1998) the incidence of AIDS amongst adolescents are increasing.

In spite of extensive AIDS-prevention programmes implemented by the relevant stakeholders, it seems as if they are inefficient in terms of changing the high-risk behavior of adolescents (Olivier, Goliath & Venter, 1998). It seems as if gaps exist between the development, implementation and evaluation of these programmes. The theme of the year 2000's global AIDS-prevention campaign: "Men can make a difference", acknowledged and affirmed the potential men have to make a difference in the curbing of HIV-transmission through responsible sexual behaviour (UNAIDS and WHO, 2000: Report 4). Male adolescents, therefore, will play a key role in the future and must receive guidance and support.


AIDS and the transmission of HIV are currently regarded as the most destructive pandemic in South Africa. Men can play a significant role in the curbing of HIV-transmission as well as the taking care of HIV/AIDS-infected and -affected people.

A variety of programmes and projects have been implemented to inform the community about the issues relating to the transmission of HIV. In spite of all the HIV/AIDS-awareness and -prevention programmes by the Gauteng Departments of Education, Health and Welfare and other stakeholders, it seems as if these efforts are ineffective as the daily rate of infections amongst adolescents are increasing (Dockrell & Dockrell, 1995). If the views of male adolescents regarding sexual activity were better understood and the imperfections in the relevant life-skills programmes addressed, AIDS-prevention programmes would be more effective in changing their high-risk behavior.

For the purpose of the study the following research questions were formulated:

* What is the view of male adolescents on sexual activity?

* According to male adolescents, which aspects should be part of an AIDS-prevention programme?


Based on the research questions, the following aims were set:

* To explore and describe male adolescents' views on involvement in sexual activity.

* To develop guidelines for developers of AIDS-prevention programmes.


Purposeful sampling (Creswell, 1994) was used with regard to a target population that adhered to the following criteria:

* Male adolescents that volunteer to participate in the study with the informed consent from their parents.

* Male adolescents from grades 9 to 11 that are between 15 and 17 years of age.

* Learners that were exposed to life-skills programmes, including AIDS-related issues.

* Learners from a school of a multicultural nature.


The research design for this study was of a qualitative, exploratory, descriptive and contextual nature (Creswell, 1994). Data was collected by means of focus group interviews (Kingry, Tiedje & Friedman, 1990; De Vos, 1998; Kvale, 1983). …

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