HIV/AIDS rife in education sector

SOUTH AFRICA: HIV/AIDS rife in education sector

JOHANNESBURG, 1 Apr 2005 (PLUSNEWS) - Every day 11 teachers in South Africa die from AIDS-related illnesses, a study commissioned by the Education Labour Relations Council has found.

The survey, carried out by the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) on a nationally representative sample of 17,088 teachers at 1,700 schools, shows that close to 13 percent of teachers are HIV-positive.

A local newspaper, The Star, quoted HSRC head of research Dr Olive Shisana as saying: "There are 356,700 teachers in 26,700 schools countrywide, and of [those] visited, 83 percent agreed to provide specimens for HIV testing. We also asked about their sexual behaviour and HIV/AIDS-related issues."

An estimated 24 percent of infected teachers were women aged between 30 and 34, while 19 percent men in the same age bracket were positive.

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