Challenges Facing Children Born with HIV: A Case Study of One Rural Schoolin Oshikoto Region of Namibia
International Journal of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Education and Behavioural Science
Volume 5, Issue 1, June 2019, Pages: 76-81
Received: May 7, 2019;
Accepted: Jun. 11, 2019;
Published: Jun. 24, 2019
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Emilia Ndapandula Mbongo, Department of Educational Psychology and Inclusive Education, University Namibia, Rundu, Namibia
Anna Niitembu Hako, Department of Educational Psychology and Inclusive Education, University Namibia, Ongwediva, Namibia
An increasing number of children born with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) are surviving well into adolescence and adulthood. This is a direct result of the roll-out of antiretroviral therapy to those infected. This study investigated the challenges facing children born with HIV in one rural school in the Oshikoto region of Namibia. The sample of the study constituted six learners who were purposively selected. Semi-structured interviews and a questionnaire were used to collect data. The results reveal that children know their HIV status and were mostly informed of their status by their caregivers. All the children are on antiretroviral treatment in line with the World Health Organisation (WHO) antiretroviral therapy guidelines, that recommends the initiation of treatment regardless of CD4 count or clinical stage. The results further showed that adherence to treatment remains a problem exacerbated by the secrecy around the virus. Children reported HIV related stigma and discrimination at the hands of adults or peers. Some participants reported feelings of hopelessness, anxiety, isolation and depression. The children’s education is also negatively affected by the HIV -positive status. As with other vulnerable children, the HIV-infected child faces many barriers to learning. The study recommends a comprehensive HIV education programme for all Namibians to mitigate the effects that come with misconceptions and a lack of understanding regarding the virus.
Emilia Ndapandula Mbongo,
Anna Niitembu Hako,
Challenges Facing Children Born with HIV: A Case Study of One Rural Schoolin Oshikoto Region of Namibia, International Journal of HIV/AIDS Prevention, Education and Behavioural Science.
Vol. 5, No. 1,
2019, pp. 76-81.
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