Developing a Resource Curriculum for the Ikhaya Lempilo HIV Support Group in South Africa
Research identifies an estimated 5.6 million people are infected with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in South Africa (Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, 2012), among the highest rate of HIV infection and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) related deaths in the world. Importantly, social support has been shown in numerous studies to be related to both the physical and psychological health and well-being of those suffering from diseases, including those who are HIV-positive. The purpose of the present study was to create a resource for an ongoing HIV social support group in one of the poorest townships of South Africa. The study developed a program curriculum to help the group's facilitators feel better equipped to serve their members through supplying information on topics such as how to structure social support meetings, the benefits of social support, the basics of HIV/AIDS, stigma, and the importance of being medication adherent. The investigator sought to construct a culturally appropriate program curriculum for the Ikhaya Lempilo HIV support group by including current research regarding what other HIV support groups have incorporated and found effective and the recommendations of cultural consultants who have personal knowledge of the support group.
Doctor of Psychology in Clinical Psychology (PsyD)
Clinical psychology, HIV infections, South Africa, Group counseling