Addressing intersections in HIV/AIDS and mental health: the role of organizations for d/Deaf and hard of hearing individuals in South Africa

Am Ann Deaf. Winter 2012;156(5):492-500. doi: 10.1353/aad.2012.1604.

Abstract

Like south africans generally, d/Deaf and hard of hearing South Africans are at risk of HIV/AIDS and mental disorders resulting from barriers to communication and care. In interviews and a focus group, members of South African organizations for d/Deaf and hard of hearing individuals all gave priority to HIV/AIDS education and prevention, citing risks resulting from language and communication barriers, inadequate schooling, and insufficient information in South African Sign Language. Participants gave varied descriptions of HIV/AIDS programs in schools for d/Deaf and hard of hearing students and described school initiatives they had directed. Some participants gave mental health problems lesser priority; others said susceptibility to mental disorders may result from communication difficulties and therefore warrants specialized services. Others, seeing a need to address mental health in HIV/AIDS prevention, had designed programs accordingly. Such prevention efforts merit support, as do activities to reduce communication barriers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / epidemiology
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / psychology*
  • Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome / rehabilitation*
  • Deafness / epidemiology
  • Deafness / psychology*
  • Deafness / therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health / statistics & numerical data*
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration*
  • Mental Health Services / statistics & numerical data
  • Risk Factors
  • South Africa / epidemiology