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Just Being a Teenager: Exploring the Social Drivers of HIV Risk and Resilience in a Rural South African Context

Christopher John Burman, Marota A. Aphane, Oliver Mtapuri


This article describes an adapted rapid situational analysis that was used to investigate the HIV-related environment that teenage girls and young women negotiate in the rural province of Limpopo in South Africa. This research contributed to the development of a sex and relationships educational programme to improve the skill sets young women use to negotiate the HIV and AIDS epidemic. Conceptually, the methodology was informed by the social drivers of HIV debate and was designed to illuminate both the HIV-related risk environments that the young women encountered, as well as the resilience strategies they used to negotiate these contexts. The qualitative design included an Archetype Extraction technique and focus group discussions, with the former guiding the structure of the latter. The findings suggest that (a) young women negotiate multiple HIV risks, (b) are aware of these risks and (c) have developed resilience strategies to negotiate these types of environment. However, the reported risk factors were more dominant than the reported resilience strategies. The adapted rapid situational analysis was found to be fit for purpose and contributed to the community partner’s ambition of updating its sex and relationships education programme.




Archetype Extraction; rapid situational analysis; sex and relationships education

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