Year: 2007
Working paper number: 191
Author: De Lannoy, Ariane
Unit: SSU

This paper analyses how HIV and AIDS affects decisions around education. Data was collected through in-depth interviews with eight young adults, as part of a larger study into educational decision-making among young Black African adults in general. Results indicate that HIV and AIDS heighten psychological problems including stress, insecurity and anxiety, as identified by psychological research. HIV and AIDS add an extra layer to the already existing complexity and fragility of young people's lives and worlds. But no evidence was found that affected young people would more readily make negative decisions about education, or would orient their values, attitudes and behaviour towards the short- rather than the long-term. The AIDS-affected young people in the sample shape their identities by focusing on future success, albeit within a world characterised by fragility, in ways that are similar to non-affected young people. Positive educational decision-making is clearly an integral part of those young people who choose to regard their current situation of deprivation as temporal and to use education as a vehicle towards future success.

Publication file: WP191.pdf