Educational research conducted in the context of the HIV and AIDS pandemic in
Southern Africa has produced diverse knowledge claims. A review of extant literature
espoused elements of ambiguity and contradictions which have become challenging
to explain, given the growing instrumentality of educational policy and institutional
cultures. The research question addressed in this article is: What is the content and
nature of the dominant literature strands informing teachers’ HIV and AIDS discourses?
Educational policy’s preoccupation with efficacy and uniformity underplays the
complexities in teachers’ discourses. This article proposes Foucault’s notion of
‘discursive practices’ as a conceptual lens to analyse the diversity of teachers’ HIV and
sexuality discourses. Discursive practices encompass social, structural and subjective
elements that constitute the wide scope of discourse formation. These elements
create possibilities of uncertainty and indeterminacy in educational outcomes of HIV
prevention, which often counteract intended policy’s expectations of uniformity and
consistency. This article presents a perspective stating that a discursive practices
approach offers an innovative way in broadening an understanding of the subjective
nature of teachers’ HIV and sexuality, arguably a weakness in policy.