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Circular 2/2002

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To all Training Institutions, Nursing Colleges, Technikons, Universities and Stakeholders

Education and Training of Nurses in HIV/AIDS Management

It has come to the attention of Council that although providers have been advised to include HIV/AIDS in the curriculi for both basic and post-basic programmes, there is no clarity regarding the content that should be taught.  As a result most of the nurses in the country have very little knowledge about this disease.  Providers are again requested to ensure that students and practising nurses are updated on issues of HIV/AIDS.

It is recommended that the subject content include the following topics:

bulletAwareness and basic knowledge about HIV/AIDS and the immune system
bulletPathophysiology and epidemiology of HIV/AIDS in South Africa
bulletDiagnosis including voluntary counselling and testing
bulletPrevention and control of HIV
bulletManagement of clinical manifestations of HIV/AIDS and opportunistic infections
bulletAntiretroviral treatment
bulletPsychosocial economic issues and support
bulletPrinciples and strategies of behaviour change
bulletPalliative and homebased care
bulletLegal and ethical issues
bulletHIV/AIDS in the workplace
bulletResearch based on clinical experiences of HIV/AIDS
bulletCare of caregivers

The following sources of information are recommended:

  1. Fact sheet on HIV/AIDS a desktop reference
    Compiled and edited for South Africa by:
bulletThe National Department of Health
bulletThe World Health Organisation
bulletUNAIDS and
bulletDENOSA (Democratic Nursing Organisation of South Africa)

This publication is available at the:

bulletDepartment of Health, Pretoria
bulletDENOSA - Head Office and all provincial offices
bulletThe South African Nursing Council
  1. Nursing Curriculum
    Developed in Sub-Saharan Africa in collaboration with the Baylor International Paediatric AIDS Initiative, Bayler College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.

Your co-operation in preparing nurses for this pandemic is appreciated.


Grace Ramadi
for Registrar and Chief Executive Officer



2004 - 2020 South African Nursing Council (Under the provisions of the Nursing Act, 2005)