Communication tools used to educate high school learners about HIV/AIDS in the Mthatha area
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The growing number of HIV/AIDS infections amongst the youth is a cause for concern, particularly with prevention messages being communicated through various media platforms. This signals gaps between the senders and receivers of these messages. Therefore, people are either not learning the message about the dangers of HIV, or are unable or unwilling to act on it. Mthatha is in the centre of the old Transkei region of the Eastern Cape. It falls under the King Sabata Dalindyebo Local Municipality and the OR Tambo District Municipality. Teenage pregnancy is a major challenge in this area, which indicates that most teenagers do not use protection during sexual intercourse. This suggests that the HIV infection rate may be too high. With there being no cure for this disease, communication has been identified as an ideal method of helping to curb the spread of this disease. The purpose of the study was to assess communication tools used to educate high school learners about HIV/AIDS in the Mthatha area. Data was collected through questionnaires administered to 341 high school learners. Three out of the eight high schools from the Mthatha Central Business District (CBD) in the Eastern Cape were identified for the study. The selection of these high schools was based on the demographics of the learners, which are age, gender and background. The findings have revealed that there are numerous methods used to educate learners about the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Learners identified mostly with three sources as the accurate tools of communication in HIV/AIDS education; Health education/curriculum, Entertainment-education and Peer Education.