Hearing-Impaired Learners: Are They Vulnerable to HIV Infection owing to Poor Knowledge?
Knowledge of the different transmission modes of HIV is vital to prevent HIV infection. The objectives of this study were to assess the knowledge of learners with hearing impairment on the different transmission modes of HIV to propose recommendations for healthcare workers to enhance the knowledge of these learners in a South African context. A quantitative descriptive cross-sectional study applying the convenient sampling technique was conducted with 99 learners from three public schools for learners with hearing impairment. The data were collected via a self-designed questionnaire and analysed through descriptive statistics. Only two of the respondents attained a knowledge score of 80 per cent on the different transmission modes of HIV, revealing a significant knowledge gap. The recommendations focused on enhancing communication through concrete examples, visual representations, and a gestural system (sign language). Training for professionals to deliver services in a culturally acceptable manner to enhance the knowledge of transmission modes of HIV by these vulnerable learners is needed.