They protect us, but are they using protection? The potential impact of HIV on the South African Police Service

George, Gavin and Gow, Jeff (2014) They protect us, but are they using protection? The potential impact of HIV on the South African Police Service. African Security Review, 23 (2). pp. 117-131. ISSN 1024-6029

Abstract

The drivers of HIV/AIDS in the South African Police Service (SAPS) and impact of the disease on this workforce are neglected areas of research. Existing evidence suggests that while the occupational risk for contracting HIV is low, there are factors associated with the profession that, if left unmanaged, place police officers at risk of contracting HIV. This study’s two aims are to identify the potential pathways of HIV
infection within policing services and determine the probable impact of HIV/AIDS on SAPS. Through a systematic literature review on HIV/AIDS within police services, and by analysing selected SAPS human resource data, the causal pathways and impact of HIV/AIDS on police services are explored. The study finds that police officers (particularly male officers) are likely to be highly susceptible to HIV infection
as a result of risky sexual behaviours born out of occupational characteristics such as high levels of stress, difficult working conditions, living away from home and interactions with sex workers. The problem is exacerbated by the 'macho' culture that often prevails among police officers. HIV/AIDS interventions within SAPS must focus on sustained behaviour change. Further, HIV programmes must equip officers
with the knowledge and awareness to avoid engaging in high-risk sexual practices that may compromise their health and the effectiveness of the policing service.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Published Version restricted due to publisher copyright restrictions.
Faculty / Department / School: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Commerce
Date Deposited: 26 Jan 2015 05:36
Last Modified: 05 Jul 2016 06:24
Uncontrolled Keywords: HIV/AIDS, South African Police Service, behaviour impact, drivers
Fields of Research : 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1117 Public Health and Health Services > 111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: C Society > 92 Health > 9204 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) > 920499 Public Health (excl. Specific Population Health) not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1080/10246029.2014.902387
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/26355

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