The health beliefs

The health beliefs and behaviors of individuals are influenced by the cultural values held by the family and the community in which they live. This project identifies the Zulu community of South Africa as the health education target group and applies the PEN-3 Model to identify the domains of cultural empowerment and those of expectations and relationships to develop a HIV/AIDS health education program for the community (Airhihenbuwa & Webster, 2004).. In essence, it will strategize prevention, care and support of HIV/AIDS victims by utilizing the culture-centered care proposed by the PEN-3 Model.

Below is a table identifying the positive, existential and negative perceptions of the community about HIV/AIDS, whose implications will be discussed and leveraged in this project to strategize the appropriate intervention and design of the health education program. Positive perceptions The Zulu community of South Africa holds the belief that upholding their cultural values that consider sex as holy and only meant for married persons help them in the prevention if HIV/AIDS (Gumede & Dalrymple, 2004).

They also believe that their knowledge and attitude towards AIDS as a sexually transmitted killer disease helps them make life-saving decisions of engaging in safe sex. Moreover, they are convinced that infection with HIV is a result of their irresponsible sexual behavior and not their identity, and that ‘ukhusoma’, their word for non-penetrative sex, prevents spreading of HIV among people (Airhihenbuwa & Webster, 2004). The Zulus also hold that their traditional healers have the ability to make drugs that can cure the illness.

Identification and leveraging these positive aspects of the Zulu community helps in initiation of a behavioral intervention in HIV/AIDS infection prevention, care and support of victims based on the people’s culture (National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC), 2006). Indeed, the culture of caring for AIDS victims at homes will enable capitalization of home-based care as a successful plan for care and support of the infected and the affected. Existential perceptions

The community members perceived their cultural beliefs ands values as possessing no actual danger of promotion of the spread of HIV/AIDS. They believe that the elasticity of the language used by adults has enough coding to prevent promotion of involvement in sexual activities among the unmarried young adults and children. They consider the face-saving and orature used in addressing issues about HIV/AIDS victims does not cause any stigmatization or guilt in the infected individuals (Airhihenbuwa & Webster, 2004). Zulus also believe that it is in order to accept HIV/AIDS victims and adopt their children.

These neutral perceptions (neither positive nor negative contributors to the HIV/AIDS pandemic among the Zulus) reveal traits and qualities of the community and help elaborate the particular values of the people (Gumede & Dalrymple, 2004). These are important in planning health education strategies, interventions and programs. For instance, people infected with HIV may be effectively protected from stigmatization, while the children of deceased parents could be adopted through the encouragement and involvement of the health educator (NCHEC, 2006).

The health educator will therefore be able to design and implement health education program that utilizes the existential aspects of the community. Negative perceptions The data gathered from the native South African community showed that they believe in myths and misconceptions that justify the exclusion of those infected with HIV/AIDS from particular social activities such as cooking in celebration parties (Airhihenbuwa & Webster, 2004).

The spiritual context of the Zulus is such that the religious leaders shun open discussions about the nature, transmission, and health and socioeconomic implications of the disease (Gumede & Dalrymple, 2004). In similar manner, the community members expressed fear in sharing common amenities with infected individuals and therefore ensured that the patients are secluded in separate housing from the healthy individuals. The discussed assessment of the Zulu community helps identify the various HIV/AIDS-related data and helps select and computerize the data to determine their health needs and even predict future health needs of the Zulu people.

The health education strategies and intervention programs are then planned as appropriate by developing objectives based on the identified health needs (NCHEC, 2006). The strategies are then implemented in order of priority through individual and group education on HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support. Furthermore, the project will involve evaluation of effectiveness of the above HIV/AIDS education strategies and carrying out of research to refine and improve the health education program in future (NCHEC, 2006). REFERENCES

Airhihenbuwa C. O. , & Webster J. D. (2004). ‘Culture and African contexts of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support’, Journal of social aspects of HIV/AIDS research alliance. Vol. 1 No. 1 Gumede K. , & Dalrymple L. (2004). Caring communities project – KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Durban:DramAide. Retrieved on August 12, 2010 http://www. creativexchange. org/hivaids/CCP National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC). (2006). Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) responsibilities. Johannesburg: NCHEC.ф

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