Zimbabwean counselors' knowledge of and attitudes toward HIV/AIDS Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/mc87ps75f

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  • Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) has become the world's foremost health threat and is the number one killer in Zimbabwe. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome impacts not only the individual who has AIDS, but on nuclear and extended families, and all aspects of society in Zimbabwe. Since studies have indicated that counseling could be an effective tool in preventing the spread of Human Immuno Deficiency Virus (HIV) and helping those who are already impacted by the virus, it would be important for counselors to be knowledgeable about HIV/AIDS and have positive attitudes towards people with HIV/AIDS. Therefore, the main purpose of this study was to investigate eight practicing Zimbabwean counselors' attitudes towards and knowledge of HIV/AIDS. Additionally, the study explored the emotions the counselors experienced while counseling HI V/AIDS clients, their beliefs about the origin of HI V/AIDS, and their perceptions about HI V/AIDS counseling in Zimbabwe. Eight practicing counselors in Zimbabwe participated in this study. A mixed method Model III with a sequential exploratory design was used amid phenomenological underpinnings. The counselors provided information through a mailed (electronic mail) questionnaire and telephone interviews. Follow-ups to the interviews were carried out through the electronic mail. Results indicated that the counselors in the study were generally knowledgeable about HIV/AIDS, had positive attitudes toward people with HIV/AIDS, and did not think that the origin of HIV/AIDS was important and that it was better to focus on the solutions to the problem. The counselors experienced a wide variety of feelings while counseling HIV/AIDS clients. The counselors reported more negative than positive feelings, but most of the feelings were not directed toward the client. The counselors revealed that HIV/AIDS counseling was complex and difficult. The counselors thought counselor training in Zimbabwe was too limited and that counselors in Zimbabwe in general lacked both support and supervision services. Despite the difficulties of, and the lack of support and supervision, the counselors found meaning in counseling HIV/AIDS clients.
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