This research investigated the impact of social support on people living with HIV/AIDS. The main aim of the research was to establish the impact that social support or lack thereof has on the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS at Vhembe District in Limpopo Province. HIV/AIDS is a stigmatized disease and such stigmatisation together with lack of knowledge and unrealistic fears can lead to communities, families and friends of the infected people treating them inappropriately or detrimentally. Infected people can also choose not to disclose their status because of fear of being stigmatised. However, despite all the negativity surrounding HIV/AIDS epidemic, there are those who are brave enough to disclose their status not only to their families but to their communities as well. In this research ten (10) respondents, both male and females were interviewed by making use of a semi-structured interview schedule. And since HIV/AIDS is a sensitive and personal topic, an availability sampling method was used. The semi-structured interview schedule consisted of both closed and open ended questions. The researcher used the qualitative method. The findings and responses of all the respondents were analysed and discussed in line with the findings that were described in the literature on HIV/AIDS issues by various authors. The findings of this research can be used by the department, social workers, families of infected people, home based care workers, doctors and nurses and other professionals who work closely with HIV/AIDS infected people. These findings can be used to broaden people’s understanding on the importance and impact of social support or lack thereof to those who are HIV/AIDS infected.
Dissertation (MSD (Employee Assistance Programme))--University of Pretoria, 2007.