BEING LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER AND INTERSEX (LGBTI) STUDENTS AT A SOUTH AFRICAN RURAL-BASED UNIVERSITY: Implications for HIV prevention
Negative attitudes towards Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) communities exist in South Africa, regardless of the constitutional provision and anti-discriminatory policies. Cases of violence against LGBTI persons due to their sexual orientation have been reported in the media and scientific journals. This study focused on LGBTI students of a rural-based university. It explored and described their experiences in interacting with members and structures of the university community. Â
A qualitative descriptive, exploratory, and contextual design was used and data were collected through individual face to face in-depth interviews. Interviews were conducted with 20 participants, who were selected through snow-balling technique. Thematic content analysis was used to analyse data.
Stigma and discrimination were the mains theme that emerged from the analysis of the interviews. Four sub-themes and various categories were derived from the main theme. Despite the constitutional provisions and the core values guiding any university, LGBTI students are still being stigmatized and discriminated against because of their sexual orientation. Stigma and discrimination issues should be incorporated in all HIV prevention activities in universities in South Africa.Â
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