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Title:Understanding fatalism in HIV/AIDS protection: the individual in dialogue with contextual factors
Author:Meyer-Weitz, AnnaISNI
Periodical:African Journal of AIDS Research
Geographic term:South Africa
mental health
Abstract:Many people remain at risk of becoming HIV-infected despite large-scale prevention efforts. An exploratory study was conducted to investigate the determinants of a fatalistic attitude towards protecting the self from HIV/AIDS. The study utilized the 2001 Human Sciences Research Council's national, representative EPOP (Evaluating Public Opinion Programme) survey among South African adults age 18 and over. About 30 percent of South Africa's adult population aged 18 and over indicated such a fatalistic view. The results of logistic regression indicated that participants who reported a low level of self-efficacy to effect change, a low living standard, feelings of hopelessness, and unclear future goals were more likely to express a fatalistic attitude towards HIV/AIDS protection than others. A better balance is required between a focus on individual risk factors and an understanding of the processes through which individuals are affected by socioeconomic, cultural and political contexts. On the individual level, general resources for living need to be developed, while the altering of contexts and structures in which communities function is crucial. A person-centred development framework in support of health and well-being could augur well for HIV prevention. Bibliogr., sum. [Journal abstract]