The utilization of HIV services on campus by the students of the University of the Western Cape
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The origin of HIV/AIDS has puzzled scientists ever since the illness first became known in the early 1980s. It is now over twenty years down the line, still the pandemic is the subject of fierce debate and the leading cause of death in the world with sub-Saharan Africa being the worst hit region. With almost everything put in place in 21st century, the rates of infection continues to rise, thus this study tries to find out the undermining factors for full utilization of HIV services in higher institutions of learning,particularly the University of the Western Cape.The services are; free HIV testing and counseling, free medication; provision of free condoms to the students in their halls of residences, peer education programs, and making them easy to access, and prevention of mother to child transmissions.This qualitative study was conducted from June to November 2009, using designed questionnaires for sixty three (63) registered students and five (5) HIV program staff .The main reason for this study was to understand the underlying factors for why students may utilize or may not utilize the available HIV services on campus. The willingness of students to express their views was a positive finding in this study. Majority students who answered the questionnaires were quite aware of these HIV services. They also agreed that services provided are good. The study also found out that females utilized these services more than males and majority of students learnt of the HIV services from the HIV programs pamphlets and website thus indicating that the HIV program at UWC is function. However the research study also found out that the though students are aware of these services few utilize them and majority are females thus leaves a question why males do not utilize.