Digital Layer on HIV/AIDS
Digital Information Layer for HIV & AIDS awareness
01/09/2006 - 31/08/2008
Has been finalized

In South Africa, more than 5 million people are affected with HIV. This is the largest number of individuals living with the virus in a single country. More than half of those infected are between the ages of 15 and 24. Consequently, schools and universities have a crucial role to play in HIV/AIDS prevention activities. Simultaneously, the developing world is tremendously trying to close the digital divide. Where feasible, schools and universities are increasingly embracing ICT for educational purposes. In this regard, this research intended to explore the role ICT can play in raising awareness concerning HIV and AIDS. The objectives of this research project were threefold. The first goal was to develop a digital information layer on HIV and AIDS for computers in public places. Secondly, this layer has been tested in terms of usability and impact in the environment of tertiary education, more specifically in the computer lab of the first year students of the University of the Western Cape (UWC). Finally, this research analyzed the more general ICT usage of the students, in order to be able to fit the layer in the students’ user patterns. The project ran for two years and covered different stages, including a baseline measurement, layer implementation, second measurement and layer adjustments. Research questions involved, amongst others, HIV, AIDS and ICT knowledge, attitudes, experiences and awareness, preferences of students concerning content and shape of the digital layer and the so-called AIDS fatigue. The research has been conducted on both a quantitative and qualitative base, including questionnaires, in-depth interviews with students and expert interviews with the university’s health workers and IT teachers. This research was a joint South African – Belgian project, involving Close the Gap Int., SMIT and UWC as cooperating partners. The study was carried out under the authorization of Belspo, the Belgian Science Policy Office.

Partners: Close the Gap Int.; University of the Western Cape; Belspo