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Overburden, Stigma, and Perceived Agency: Teachers as HIV Prevention Educators in Urban Zambia

1. Health Science, Keene State College, Keene NH
2. School of Biological and Population Health Sciences, College of Public Health and Human Sciences, Oregon State University.

Sub-Saharan Africa is home to more than 70% of the global HIV-positive population. In Zambia, as well as in other parts of Africa, deaths from AIDS and associated infections have created a generation of households headed by children, a situation that negatively affects the chances for economic and health improvements in the region. In contemplating possible public health interventions around HIV prevention, we found that a growing body of research advocates for school-based HIV programs as an effective strategy to stop the spread of the disease. This work is critical because it explores schoolteachers’ perspectives on their potential roles as HIV prevention educators. Semi-structured interviews (n = 12) were conducted among schoolteachers in the Lusaka province of Zambia to collect qualitative data. Analysis of qualitative data revealed three broad and interconnected themes related to the roles and concerns of the participating teachers: 1) the role of overburden; 2) fear of stigma; and 3) perceived lack of agency. These themes are further discussed in the context of the results that focused on the teachers and the adoption of HIV education. Little is known about teachers’ perceptions of themselves as HIV educators. Our study suggests that understanding teachers’ perceptions and the contextual factors is crucial to the adoption of school-based HIV programs.
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Copyright Info: © 2016, Margaret Henning, et al., licensee AIMS Press. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Licese (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0)

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