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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337

S. Afr. j. occup. ther. vol.40 n.2 Pretoria Aug. 2010




The value of beadwork for women living with HIV/AIDS



Ts'otleho FaneI; Elelwani RamugondoII; Mamosa LeshoeleIII; Ian CokerIV

IBSc OT (UCT); Assistant Director Rehabilitation (OT), Sterkspruit LSA, Department of Health, Eastern Cape
IIMSc OT (UCT) PhD (UCT); Senior Lecturer, Division of Occupational Therapy, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town
IIIBSc OT (UCT); Occupational Therapist, Workability, Cape Town
IVOccupational Therapy Technician (OTASA)





Prejudice and stigma against people living with HIV/AIDS in South Africa often mean that people infected with HIV are excluded from formal employment. Women, who experience the highest prevalence of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa1 and the highest incidence rate in South Africa2, also in many cases, have to look after families as single parents. As a result of this, women living with HIV/AIDS often become part of the informal sector, earning income through crafts such as beadwork.
This qualitative study explored the way in which women living with HIV/AIDS experience beading as an income generating occupation within the Positive Beadwork Project (PBP), an initiative of the Kidzpositive Family Fund. Five women were interviewed using both in-depth individual interviews and focus groups. Seven themes emerged from the data: Guaranteed income; Skill development; Beadwork sparks creativity; Sharing and support; Fulfilment of roles; Beadwork is challenging and Lack of community support.

Key words: Beadwork, HIV/AIDS, occupation, and income generation



“Full text available only in PDF format”




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Elelwani Ramugondo



This article is based on a research project conducted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the degree: BSc occupational therapy, UCT in July 2005.

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