AIDS and Behavior

, Volume 10, Issue 6, pp 683–690 | Cite as

A Controlled Study of an HIV/AIDS/STI/TB Intervention with Traditional Healers in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

  • Karl Peltzer
  • Nolwandle Mngqundaniso
  • George Petros
Original Paper


Traditional healers play an important role in southern Africa culture and health care including the HIV epidemic. Here we report among the first controlled studies of an HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections (STI) and tuberculosis (TB) intervention for traditional healers in South Africa. At baseline 233 traditional healers were assessed in four selected communities in the KwaZulu-Natal province and received either an experimental intervention or a no intervention control condition. The intervention group received training in HIV/AIDS, STI, and TB prevention over 3.5 days as well as a supervisory follow-up visit. At 7–9 months follow-up intervention effects were significant for HIV knowledge and HIV and STI management strategies including conducting risk behavior assessments and counseling, condom distribution, community HIV/AIDS and STI education, and record keeping. The study found a high level of preparedness among traditional healers to work with and refer patients to biomedical health practitioners, yet no higher levels of referral to biomedical practitioners were found after the training.


HIV/AIDS/STI controlled evaluation intervention traditional healers South Africa 



Funding was provided by Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation (Secure the Future Programme) and the Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa. Support was given by the KwaZulu-Natal Health Department and the KwaZulu-Natal Traditional Health Practitioners Council. Thanks to Dorothy Butelezi and Margaret Shangase who conducted the trainings and assisted in accessing the traditional healers and data collection.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl Peltzer
    • 1
  • Nolwandle Mngqundaniso
    • 2
  • George Petros
    • 2
  1. 1.Human Sciences Research Council & University of LimpopoPretoriaSouth Africa
  2. 2.Human Sciences Research CouncilPretoriaSouth Africa

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