A critical assessment of the Zulu community reveals their belief that if the necessary resources for HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and support are available, accessible, acceptable, and affordable, they would make positive decisions and actions regarding the disease and its effects (Gumede & Dalrymple, 2004). Additionally, the believe that their head of state’s openness in discussing HIV/AIDS issues influences effective policies to control the epidemic. They also believe the open utterances by the president help people accept those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS as dignified community members hence decreasing the associated stigma.
Accordingly, the role played by government policies is recognized by the Zulu community as the force behind the consistently reducing HIV/AIDS incidence and prevalence (Airhihenbuwa & Webster, 2004). Existential enablers As for the existential enablers, the community believes that they can prevent HIV/AIDS, care, and support the victims by utilizing the traditionally available resources that are accessible, acceptable, and affordable to the particular family faced by the challenge (Airhihenbuwa & Webster, 2004).
It is evident that the Zulu traditional medicinemen have formulated some herbal regimen which the community members believe treat HIV. However, this treatment is currently under clinical tests at the South African Medical Research Council and its initial results are promising. Negative enablers The Zulus hold the belief that the scarcity and costly nature of particular resources needed for effective prevention, care and support of HIV/AIDS impact negatively on their decisions and actions in controlling this epidemic (Airhihenbuwa & Webster, 2004).
Moreover, they believe that the reluctance of their religious leaders to openly discuss HIV and AIDS contributes to increasing the stigma on those infected and/or affected by the disease. Furthermore, the aspect of people blaming the infection on others also impacts negatively on the Zulus as in such cases of blame-game no one takes the initiative to prevent HIV transmission or even care or support the victims (Gumede & Dalrymple, 2004). In like manner, the failure of the government to distribute enough Anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) to those living with HIV/AIDS explicitly creates a disenabling atmosphere for effective addressing of HIV/AIDS.
Notably, the Zulu people who refuse to be tested for HIV cited the unavailability of ARVs as their reason for declining. Concisely, the health educator, upon assessing and recognizing the health needs, strengths, and weaknesses of the community concerning HIV/AIDS prevention and care according to the enablers discussed above, will be able to prioritize, plan, implement, and evaluate a suitable health education program on prevention, care and support of HIV/AIDS (National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC), 2006).
REFERENCES Airhihenbuwa C. O. , & Webster J. D. (2004). ‘Culture and African contexts of HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support’, Journal of social aspects of HIV/AIDS research alliance. Vol. 1 No. 1 Gumede K. , & Dalrymple L. (2004). Caring communities project – KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Durban:DramAide. Retrieved on August 23, 2010 http://www. creativexchange. org/hivaids/CCP National Commission for Health Education Credentialing (NCHEC). (2006). Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) responsibilities. Johannesburg: NCHEC.