MPhil study projects

The perspectives of social workers on their profession’s involvement in the management of HIV/Aids in the world of work

Student: Amber Smith

Country: South Africa

People affected by HIV/Aids often contend with poverty, stigma and discrimination. Addressing this complex issue demands concerted efforts from multidisciplinary teams, with social workers playing a vital role. Employing a qualitative approach in an explanatory and descriptive framework, the study aimed to comprehensively understand social workers’ contributions to HIV/Aids management. Using snowball sampling, 12 people were interviewed in semi-structured formats.

The findings underscored the pivotal role of social workers in addressing psychosocial issues, notably poverty and addiction, through service provision and educational interventions. Challenges such as stigma hinder disclosure, complicating service delivery. The study highlighted the need for increased involvement of social service professionals in HIV awareness programmes to meet global targets for ending Aids. Comprehensive programmes should cover HIV/Aids information, prevention strategies, access to health and social services and combatting gender norms and stigma.

Recommendations included regular HIV training for social workers to enhance their efficacy in addressing psychosocial challenges associated with HIV/Aids. Addressing these issues is crucial for improving outcomes and reducing the stigma associated with HIV/Aids.