Exploring the challenges of implementing participatory action research in the context of HIV and poverty.
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HIV/AIDS is having a devastating impact on South Africa and particularly on poor communities. Empowerment of communities has been identified as an important step towards mitigating the consequences and helping communities to overcome the challenges presented. Participatory Action Research (PAR) has been identified as a useful methodology for the purpose of facilitating empowerment. This study explores the challenges involved in implementing PAR in the context of HIV/AIDS and poverty. In this article, the author describes a PAR project that took place in 2003/ 2004 with a group of five Xhosa speaking people living with HIV/AIDS in Masiphumelele, Cape Town. The aims of the study were to: 1. Create an opportunity for the participants to engage in a participatory process aimed at self-awareness and empowerment. 2. To record and analyse this process with the intention of producing insight into the use of PAR in the context of poverty and HIV/AIDS and to identify the challenges involved.