Change the world

HIV & AIDS Research Unit

Automotive Industry Development Centre – Eastern Cape (AIDC-EC) South Africa HIV and AIDS Work Place Wellness

Collaboration:

  1. Automotive Industry Development Centre – Eastern Cape (AIDC-EC) South Africa

Summary of the project

As organisations are becoming more aware of the threat of the HIV&AIDS pandemic many today commit resources towards managing HIV&AIDS in the workplace through HIV&AIDS programmes. The question remains as to whether such efforts are effective. A Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices and Behaviour (KAPB) survey is one of the tools that can be used to collect baseline data for programme design purposes but also to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of an HIV&AIDS programme. KAPB surveys can identify knowledge gaps, cultural beliefs, or behavioural patterns that may facilitate understanding and action, as well as pose problems or create barriers for HIV prevention (WHO, 2008). KAPB surveys may be used to identify needs, problems and barriers in programme delivery, as well as solutions for improving quality and accessibility of services. The data collected enable programme managers to set workplace programme priorities, to estimate resources required for various activities, to select the most effective communication channels and messages, to establish baseline levels and measure change that results from interventions, and for advocacy. The KAPB surveys will be conducted between amongst employees at selected companies of the automotive sector in Port Elizabeth. Results will contribute to a better understanding of the levels of knowledge, cultural beliefs, or behavioural patterns in help to design more targeted HIV&AIDS workplace programmes. The data will also serve as part of the baseline for future studies to determine the impact of health interventions initiated by the company.

HIV Risk Behaviour amongst Women Sex Workers in the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality

Collaborators:

  • Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC-South Africa)

Project Summary

Sex work is considered a high risk sexual behaviour notably with the spread of HIV and other sexually infectious diseases. Sex workers are among the key populations most affected by HIV and STIs since the beginning of the epidemic. Effective interventions targeting sex workers are important components of comprehensive HIV and STI prevention strategies. The purpose of this study is to explore HIV risk behaviour amongst sex workers in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality. This will also involve the assessment of challenges that sex workers face with regard to their sexual risk behaviour, and their relationships outside sex work. The study is guided by four aims namely: (a) to explore HIV risk behaviour among sex workers; (b) To assess experiences of sex workers that will heighten their susceptibility to HIV; (c) To assess the support given to sex workers; (d) to generate recommendations for addressing HIV risk behaviour among sex workers. Purposeful and convenience sampling will be used to select the sample. The study will utilise semi-structured interviews with 15 individual participants and it will mainly be exploratory as the aim is to obtain rich and new data from the participants.

Growth Velocity of HIV- Infected and HIV- negative children with moderate malnutrition Supplemented with a Ready –to Use  Supplementary Food (RUSF)

Collaborators:

  • Department of Dietetics
  • Department of Pharmacy
  • Department of Nursing
  • Medical Laboratory Sciences

Project Summary

Approximately 4.7% of South African children below the age of five years suffered from moderate wasting (weight/height below -2 SD) and 23.9% from moderate stunting (height/age below -2SD) in 2008 (WHO Global Database on Child Growth and Malnutrition, 2011).

The research questions are: what is the prevalence of parasite infestation in children with moderate acute malnutrition admitted to targeted supplementary feeding programmes? Is Mebendazole effective to eliminate parasite infestation in children with moderate malnutrition? Are there significant differences in growth velocity during targeted supplementation in children with and without parasite infestation? 

The aim of the study is to follow moderately malnourished children, treated with ready-to-use therapeutic foods as part of the integrated nutrition programme’s targeted supplementation programme in children between 12 and 60 months. Sub-objectives include determining:

  • Food security
  • Baseline data on clinical (including stool samples)* and nutritional status;
  • Clinical (including stool samples)* and nutritional data after 4 weeks;
  • Clinical and nutritional data after 12 weeks;
  • Determination of growth velocity during the intervention period.

The study will be in the form of a longitudinal cohort from admission to the targeted supplementation programme until discharge.

South African Eastern Cape Women Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) Adherence Study

Collaborators:

  1. Temple University-College of Health (USA-Philadelphia)
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (USA)

Project Summary  

Oral tenofovir fumarate (TDF) with emticitabine (FTC) as pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) has evidenced to be effective for reducing HIV acquisition among populations at high risk.  However, trials conducted among women were unable to demonstrate effectiveness. Non-adherence was found to be the major factor contributing to the lack of effectiveness of PrEP in reducing HIV acquisition among women. The objective of the proposed study is to test an intervention to increase PrEP adherence among at-risk women residing in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Guided by three aims the proposed study seeks to evaluate: (a) whether an intervention with a support group component will increase adherence compared with intervention with health promotion workshop; (b) whether an intervention with support group increases reduction of STIs; and (c) the effects of mediators and theoretical moderators on the outcomes. Using a double blind, intervention vs placebo control design the primary outcome is PrEP adherence, and the secondary outcome is decrease in STIs.  Six focus group discussions will be conducted with 60 women. In-depth interviews will be conducted with 20 women. Building on this formative information we will recruit 550 at-risk women from clinics. Women will be randomly assigned to an HIV/STI risk reduction PrEP adherence intervention with support groups (n-225) and to and HIIV/STI risk reduction with health promotion control condition (n-225). Essays of PrEP adherence will be conducted every 4 weeks with assessments collected at baseline, six, and 12 months using ACASI.

Institutional Research of HIV and AIDS on the Students of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU) Students

Project Summary  

This research project explores HIV risk perception of university students. The sample is taken from registered students at the NMMU, who voluntarily participate, through access to the student portal. Frequencies and percentages are used to describe categorical data. The Pearson correlation co-efficient (r) and Spearman’s rank co-efficient are used to measure the strength or degree of the relationship between variables and identify the significance of the correlation between two variables respectively.

Objective:

To assess the prevalence of /and association between sexual risk behaviour and alcohol use among NMMU students.

Sub-objectives:

  1. To describe the prevalence of behaviour associated with: substance abuse and sexual risk behaviour.
  2. Determine associations between demographics and health risk behaviour.
  3.  Develop holistic approaches to behaviour modification.

Collaboration Strategies towards HIV and AIDS Integration into the Curriculum: A case of NMMU and two TVET Colleges

Project Summary  

South African lecturers work on the front line in addressing the everyday realities of HIV and AIDS in the higher education sector. However, the voices of lectures in relation to integration of HIV and AIDS in the curriculum and in their teaching and engagement with students are often lost in the midst of competing work demands. There is no standard approach or universal recipe to mainstreaming HIV and AIDS into the life of any institution. The role of the universities and TVET colleges in the process of fighting the spread of HIV and AIDS among students must be critically evaluated to determine the scope of an integrated interdisciplinary approach.

Objectives:

  1. To identify strategies that lecturers could use to integrate HIV and AIDS into the curriculum at NMMU and the two TVET colleges. 

Sub-objectives:

  1. To investigate the contextual model of collaboration that could facilitate HIV and AIDS integration into the curriculum of selected higher education institutions.
  2. Investigating the lecturers’ experiences of integrating HIV and AIDS into their modules.
  3. Lessons lecturers might learn from each other’s experiences.
  4. Exploring Moodle platform as a mechanism of integrating HIV and AIDS in particular modules.
  5. Exploring reasons that enable or constrain collaboration towards HIV and AIDS integration in the institutions.

A case study design is used to collect data through document analysis, interviews and observations of lecturers from three disciplines (Tourism, Safety in Society, and renewable energy).

Vulnerable children in Foster Care

The HIV/AIDS Unit, in cooperation with the Department of Environmental Health and Social Development Professions were recently awarded this project by the Eastern Cape Department of Social Development after a call for proposals by this Department.

The project is in response to the Department of Social Development's request for an impact assessment of identified child protection programmes with the aim of evaluating and determining what programme improvements should be undertaken to strengthen these programmes. The research focused on foster care and family reunification. Foster children who are in foster care for 5 to 10 years and longer was the target population for the research. The areas selected for the research included the OR Tambo (Mbizana/Lusikisiki), Cacadu (Grahamstown) and Nelson Mandela Metro (Port Elizabeth/Uitenhage) districts. A comparative analysis was needed to determine the type and quality of services for foster children in rural and urban areas. The research also investigated what exit strategies are practised for foster care children.

Substance abuse among the Eastern Cape Youth

The HIV/AIDS Unit, in cooperation with the Department of Environmental Health and Social Development Professions were recently awarded this project by the Eastern Cape Department of Social Development after a call for proposals by this Department.

This project investigated substance abuse among the youth in the province. The identified districts in the Eastern Cape where the research were undertaken included: Mbizana (OR Tambo District), Cradock farm areas (Chris Hani District), East London (Amatole) and Grahamstown (Cacadu District). The research was undertaken to provide new knowledge about sutstance abuse and prevention amongst young people living on farms, rural and urban areas. Routes by which children/teenagers start using drugs and factors that protect certain children from using it, were investigated to inform the design of new programmes and adapt existing programmes by the Department of Social Development. Lessons leraned from this approach and results are also comparable over the different geographical locations.