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12 June 2017

HIV health of educators in the public sector survey released

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

Durban, Thursday 15 June 2017 – The Human Sciences Research Council today concluded its programme at the SA AIDS Conference in Kwa-Zulu Natal, where it joined various other agencies and institutions, to showcase the work it is doing to reduce the spread of HIV and AIDS in the country.

The Human Sciences Research Council’s presence at the Conference was anchored around the theme: Every Voice Counts, Make Your Voice Count.  This theme underscored the way in which the Council was positioned at the Conference and enabled significant engagement with delegates at the Conference.


The Council’s presence at the SA AIDS Conference comes amidst the fifth South African National HIV Prevalence, Incidence and Behaviour Survey which is the largest ever conducted and aims to access 60 000 South Africans to assess HIV Prevalence in the country.  Currently the study is 31% complete equating to 19 000 participating thusfar. 

SABSSM is part of a national survey series that aims to provide a better understanding of not only the HIV status of individuals but also information on socio-demographic and behavioural determinants which greatly enhances the analysis and interpretation of the observed trends in HIV infection in South Africa. It also includes the use of novel laboratory methodologies to help estimate HIV incidence and exposure to antiretroviral treatment (ART).

The HSRC has previously conducted this survey in 2002, 2005, 2008 and in 2012.

The 2017 survey is conducted in partnership with the National Department of Health, the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), United Nations
Children’s Fund (UNICEF), University of Cape Town (UCT), National Institute for Communicable Diseases (NICD), Global Clinical & Viral Laboratory, the Foundation for Professional Development and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

Health of Educators Study

As part of its programme at the Conference and, with a view to assessing how the health of educators impacts on the national objective to produce quality educational outcomes, the  Department of Basic Education and the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) released the results of a study looking at The Health of Educators in Public Schools in South Africa.

Various factors influence the health and wellbeing of educators within the school environment. These include work dissatisfaction and overload, personal health issues – including HIV infection, tuberculosis (TB) and non-communicable diseases – and exposure to violence.  These factors were identified in a similar study conducted in 2004 and were again investigated in a follow-up study in 2015/16 .

The study was conducted in 1380 randomly selected public schools throughout the country.  Outcomes of the study could positively influence public policy and enable an adequate response to the threats presented by both the HIV and TB epidemics in the education sector and other factors related to health of educators. 

What Works in HIV & AIDS and the World of Work Initiatives in South Africa

At the same time, the Human Sciences Research Council presented its interim findings on its study: What work in HIV and AIDS and the World of Work Initiatives in South Africa.  This study is funded by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

This study is significant since HIV & AIDS affects employees and business operations negatively.  It is important to understand best practice the world over to manage the negative effects of HIV and AIDS in the workplace.
The study is being conducted in 36 workplaces throughout the country.

Follow the conversation on #HIVinEducation #SAAIDS2017

Notes to the Editor

The fact sheet attached herewith further articulates the outcomes of the Health of Educators study

The full report can be accessed on

About the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.

Our mandate is to inform the effective formulation and monitoring of government policy; to evaluate policy implementation; to stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of research-based data and fact-based research results; to foster research collaboration; and to help build research capacity and infrastructure for the human sciences.

The Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.

For more information or to set up interviews, please contact:
Manusha Pillai
Mobile:  082 389 3587

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