HIV and AIDS knowledge among high school pupils with hearing impairments in Zambia
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The purpose of the study was to investigate the HIV and AIDS knowledge among high school pupils with hearing impairments in Zambia. Three schools in total were chosen for this purpose in three districts of Zambia - Lufwanyama, Chipata and Lusaka. The aim of the study was to find out how much knowledge high school pupils with hearing impairments have on HIV and AIDS; to identify the sources of HIV and AIDS information such pupils use; to find out factors, if any, which hinder the access of information on HIV and AIDS to the hearing impaired pupils; and to find out if there were other ways which pupils would use to increase their knowledge of HIV and AIDS. The study utilised a combination of quantitative and qualitative paradigms. A survey design was used in conducting this research. Data were collected through focused group discussions and questionnaires from a sample of 40 female and 40 male pupils selected to accurately represent the population under study.Quantitative data was analysed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) from which frequencies, percentages and graphs were generated while qualitative data obtained through interviews were coded and grouped by establishing the emerging themes. The findings of the study revealed that pupils with hearing impairments are commonly overlooked in the development of materials and education programmes on HIV and AIDS. The study also showed that most pupils both males and females had limited knowledge about HIV and AIDS. It further revealed that pupils with hearing impairments did not fully utilise the services of the Anti-AIDS club in their schools in terms of membership. Another finding was that there was no time allocated to teaching of HIV and AIDS to the hearing impairment pupils.Arising from the findings of the study, the following recommendations have been suggested: More programmes on HIV and AIDS should be introduced in schools; the Ministry of Education should train teachers to specifically teach the component of HIV and AIDS to high school pupils with hearing impairments. The Ministry of Education should consider introducing HIV and AIDS programmes on television with the help of interpreters if the HIV and AIDS messages/information were to reach pupils with hearing impairments and should make HIV and AIDS programme part of the school subject and allocate it teaching time.