UNISA Short course in Practical skills for HIV Aids Care and Counselling

UNISA Short course in Practical skills for HIV Aids Care and Counselling

Short course in Practical skills for HIV Aids Care and Counselling (76970)



The purpose of this module is to empower students with practical skills in HIV/AIDS counselling which entails equipping them with necessary skills and knowledge around HIV/AIDS (awareness, testing and management). Students are also equipped to counsel, support and empower others in their communities, to understand HIV, to prevent HIV infection, to manage HIV, and to know their rights with respect to living with HIV.

Target group

Professionals in the health and social sciences, counsellors, nurses, social workers, psychologists, teachers, ministers of faith, peer-counsellors, lay counsellors, religious workers etc


Admission requirements

Module 2: Successful completion of Module 1



3 months plus a workshop

Language medium


Registration periods

Semester dates

Tuition method

The ODL approach is followed. Study material includes workshop manual, a prescribed book and a CD. Students are encouraged to make use of myUnisa.

Kind of assessment

One portfolio where students complete a practical task wherein they are expected to interview a person living with HIV and apply their practical counselling skills acquired from the workshop to answer questions.

Practical Counselling Skills in HIV/Aids (AIDM02R)
Syllabus/Content Topics

The module covers knowledge of HIV and Aids in general, principles and strategies of behaviour change to prevent HIV infection, HIV counselling principles and skills, care and support for the HIV infected person, and ethics in the HIV field.
The module consists of the following themes:
Theme 1: Current global Statistics, information and worldviews with regards to HIV/Aids 

  • Global, national and regional impact, prevalence, and incidence of the HIV/Aids epidemic

Theme 2: Fundamental facts about HIV/Aids

  • The history of HIV
  • HIV and the immune system
  • Transmission and prevention of HIV
  • Symptoms and diseases (including TB and STIs)
  • HIV testing
  • Antiretroviral Therapy

Theme 3: Worldview, Attitudes and Self-Awareness

  • Counselors’ frame of reference, perceptions of and stereotypes towards those who are infected
  • Diversity in terms of sexual, gender and cultural issues.

Theme 4: HIV counselling, care and support

  • Definition of counselling
  • Counsellor’s values, ethics and attitudes
  • Basic counselling principles and skills
  • Four phases of the counselling process
  • Counselling in diverse contexts
  • Pre- and post-HIV-test counselling
  • Challenges around Disclosure
  • Nutrition and Positive Living

Theme 5: Legal and Ethical issues with regard to HIV 

  • Basic rights of people living with HIV and AIDS
  • The Constitution and legal framework
  • National HIV counseling and Testing Guidelines
  • Health Professions Council’s Ethical guidelines for Good Practice with regard to HIV
  • HIV and Employment: Code of Good Practice

Theme 6: Care for the Caregiver

  • Bereavement counseling
  • General guidelines for bereavement counseling
  • Counselor’s own grief
  • Occupational Stress and Burn out
  • Factors associated with occupational stress in the AIDS field
  • Care for the self
  • Organizational support
  • Establishing support networks


Course leader

Ms PB Mokgatlhe
PhD (Psychology) in process
Department of Psychology
Discipline expert in HIV and Aids
Office 5-84, Theo van Wijk Building, UNISA
Fax: 086 554 5909
E-mail: Mokgapb@unisa.ac.za

Programme administrator(s)

Ms A Nogqala
Programme administrator
Unisa Centre for Applied Psychology
Office 5-152, Theo van Wijk Building, UNISA
Tel: 012 429 8544 / 2590
Fax: 086 554 5909
E-mail: nogqaa@unisa.ac.za
E-mail: ucap@unisa.ac.za