Learning to Use Visual Data to ‘Save Lives’ in the Age of AIDS?
HIV/AIDS, once a death sentence, could be managed and survived, if the information of Anti-Retrovirals (ARVs) reaches a community, ARVs become accessible and are used correctly. Similarly, we argue, visual data, through the use of Information and Communication Technology (ICT), can be used to address HIV/AIDS related stigma - an issue preventing disclosure and impacting the lives of individuals - in a rural context. The challenge lies in extending access to ICT (and a digital archive with relevant visual stigma data to address the pandemic), in the case of this research, to educators and learners in a rural community to enable social change.
This paper outlines the use of a digital archive, a data set of staged photos around HIV/AIDS stigma, with educators in two rural schools, exploring their views on using it in their teaching to address HIV/AIDS stigma. A qualitative research approach, using community participatory methodology, was used with educators in two rural schools. The findings suggest that the use of ICT in a rural context can enable educators to create, access and share digital material, which is relevant and realistic and individually tailored, in creative ways to address HIV/AIDS related stigma in the school. Technology can facilitate community participation in the production of local knowledge however, language, literacy and access continue to remain a barrier. This work is exploratory and encourages further work around how visual data can facilitate social change.
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Stigma, Digital Archive, Teachers, Rural school
Prof Naydene de Lange
Associate Professor, Educational Psychology, University of KwaZulu-Natal
Universit y of KwaZulu-Natal