Health SA Gesondheid (Online)
On-line version ISSN 2071-9736
Print version ISSN 1025-9848
NKWINIKA, Elizabeth; KHOZA, Lunic B.; LEBESE, Rachel T. and SHILUBANE, Hildah N.. Refugees' perceptions regarding HIV and AIDS in Ba-Phalaborwa Municipality in Limpopo Province. Health SA Gesondheid (Online) [online]. 2014, vol.19, n.1, pp.1-8. ISSN 2071-9736. http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/hsag.v19i1.711.
BACKGROUND: Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (HIV and AIDS) remain a serious threat to population health and economic well-being of individuals in conflict societies. Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) is overwhelmingly affected by HIV and is the region with the highest number of armed conflicts worldwide. AIM: The research aimed at exploring and describing the perceptions of the refugees at Humulani Village in Ba-Phalaborwa municipality, Limpopo province, about HIV and AIDS. OBJECTIVES: The objectives included determining the gender perceptions about HIV and AIDS and also providing recommendations for ways to increase the refugees understanding of this disease. METHODS: The approach used for the research was quantitative. The target population of the study was all the refugees at Humulani Village. The sample comprised both men (n = 78) and women (n = 122) who participated by completing questionnaires. The sample of the refugees consisted of different ethnic groups from Mozambique, Nigeria, Ghana and Zimbabwe. The questionnaire consisted of two sections, section A contained the biographic data and section B interrogated the refugees' knowledge of HIV. RESULTS: The findings of the study revealed that the participants had low levels of knowledge regarding HIV which could be attributed to their believing the myths about HIV and AIDS. CONCLUSION: The HIV-infected refugee population in Limpopo may continue to grow unless the unique needs of the refugees, such as strengthening the reproductive health services, maternal and child care and family planning, improving the educational and socio-economic status, are not addressed.