The Effects Of Counselling On Students’ Attitude Towards HIV / AIDS Infection

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The Effects Of Counselling On Students’ Attitude Towards HIV / AIDS Infection


This research work attempted to examine the effects of counselling on students’ attitude towards HIV/AIDS infection in Surulere local government area of Lagos State.

The survey design method was used to assess the opinions of the respondents, using the questionnaire designed by the researcher.

The sample size for this study comprised one hundred twenty students who were randomly selected through stratified random sampling method.

The independent t-test was used to analyse the null hypotheses formulated for this study at 0.05 level of significance.

At the end of the analyses, the results obtained are as follows:

  1. There is a significant effect of counselling on students’ attitude towards HIV/AIDS infection.
  2. There is a significant relationship between counselling and students’ attitude towards HIV/AIDS infection.
  3. There is a significant difference in the attitude of male and female students towards HIV/AIDS infection.
  4. There is no significant relationship between negative and positive attitude of students towards HIV/AIDS infection.

Recommendations were made based on the findings.

Chapter One

1.1 Introduction / Background to the Study

AIDS is an acronym for Acquired Immuno Deficiency syndrome a killer disease that progressively destroys organs of the body including the immune systems and the central nervous system. The disease is caused by a virus, the human immuno deficiency virus type I (HIV) according to World Health Organisation, (WHO, 1980).

The initial symptoms of HIV – I infection often resemble influenza or nomonucleosis and appear within a few days or weeks after exposure. These symptoms often disappear after several weeks. Prolonged disease period may last for ten years or more after initial infection, more commonly eight to ten years elapse before the onset of serious disease symptoms. During this later phase, the HIV-infected or (HIV positive) patient is said to have AIDS.

According to Aiken (1991) AIDS was first reported in 1981 by investigators in New York and California. Initially, most of the cases of AIDS in the United States were diagnosed in homo-sexuals who contacted the virus primarily through sexual relationships and intravenous drug use or by sharing contaminated hypodermic needles.

HIV/AIDS spread to endemic proportion in the 1980’s particularly in Africa where the disease might have originated from. The spread was likely facilitated by several factors which include increasing urbanization and long distance travel in Africa i.e. international travellers, changing sexual partners and intravenous drug users.

According to the United Nations (2004) report on AIDS, some 38 million people were living with HIV, approximately, 5 million people become injected annually and about 3 million people die each year from AIDS.

Humphrey, (1990) states that people living in sub-Saharan Africa, accounted for some 70 percent of all the prevalence of HIV infection of inhabitants which exceeded 10 percent of the population. Rates of infection were lower in other parts of the world, but the epidemic spread rapidly in the Eastern Europe, India, South Africa, South East Asia, Latin America and other Caribbean Island. Rates of infection were also on the rise in the United States of America and Western Europe where the identified factors contributing to the contraction of HIV/AIDS as being prominent. In the United States for example, nearly one million people were living with HIV. In Asia, the sharpest increase in HIV infection were found in China, Indonesia and Vietnam.

The above information are dispersed to students by experts in counselling and guidance. According to Adeleke (1990) over the years counselling has been used in school to pass vital information on the spread and management of the HIV/AIDS diseases. In many schools today, students have embraced counselling as an instrument of guidance and preventive measure to their sexual related problems. With the establishment of counselling in schools students of all strata, are now very much aware of causes and effect of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases. Due to creation of enlightenment on important issues, students no longer show negative attitudes towards counselling, rather, they embrace it knowing that the school uses it as an instrument of assistance and remedy to the problem of individuals. For example the knowledge of the dangers of HIV/AIDS which counselling has brought to many students. It has made them to be careful and mindful of their sexual activities bearing in mind that through sex HIV/AIDS could be contacted.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

Sexual urges are inherent in all humans. This is because individuals are sexual beings from birth to death, and sexual development and behaviour are integral human processes.

Sexually transmitted diseases such as Acquired Immuno-deficiency Syndrome (AIDs) has defied all aspects of remedy through medical sciences. The spread of the disease is very alarming in the larger society.

Regrettably, people who have been counselled by experts in counselling have not heeded to the advice given to them on how best to embark on safe sexual relationship. This is because, many people today especially students, have not changed their sex lives majority of the students, inspite of the information given to them on the dangers inherent in contacting HIV/AIDS, still believe that the fear in them to avoid sex. Others believe that whether counselling or no counselling, they should engage in active sexual life and this is where the problem of continued spread of HIV/AIDS among students lies. Many people show negative attitude towards the use of counselling as an instrument of assistance for social, psychological and health problems. People who have contacted HIV/AIDS infections rather have the problem of inhibition, fear and the negative mental orientation that make their cases worse and eventually result to their deaths.

Negative attitude to sex education and marital guidance by many people are the main causes of the wide spread of HIV/AIDS in the society. This study therefore investigates the effect of counselling on students attitudes towards HIV/AIDS with the view of changing students attitudes and behaviour through adequate counselling recommended in this study.

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to examine the effect of counselling in students’ attitude towards HIV/AIDS infection in selected secondary schools in Surulere local governemnt area of Lagos State. The study will also establish how counselling could be used to effect positive behaviour change towards sex related matters by adolescent students.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions were raised in this study:

  1. Will there be any significant effect of counselling on the attitude of students towards HIV/AIDS?
  2. To what extent will students’ exposure to counselling services affect their attitude towards HIV/AIDS?
  3. Will there be any gender difference in the attitude of students towards HIV/AIDS?
  4. Is there any difference between the attitude of students who are exposed to counselling and those who are not?
  5. How can we differentiate between students who have positive and negative attitude towards HIV/AIDS infection?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were formulated to guide the conduct of this study:

  1. There is no significant effect of counselling on students’ attitude towards HIV/IDS infection.
  2. There is no significant gender difference in the attitude of students towards HIV/AIDS infection.
  3. There is no significant difference between the knowledge of the students who have positive attitude towards HIV/AIDS and those who have negative attitude towards HIV/AIDS about the spread and consequences of the disease.
  4. There is no significant relationship between counselling services and students’ attitudes towards HIV/AIDS infection.

1.6 Significance of Study

This study will be of immense benefit to the following:

1. Students:

Students will benefit from this study because its findings and recommendations will give them an insight into the problem of HIV/AIDS information and how to prevent the spread.

2. Parents:

Parents will benefit from this study because it will help their children/wards in school to avail themselves of the opportunity to be aware of the spread of the deadly. Acquired immuno deficiency syndrome (AIDS) and how not to come in contact with it through the use of counselling. That is to say that parents will understand the importance of counselling through this study.

3. Teachers:

Teachers will also benefit from this study because it will afford them the opportunity to use counselling method to help students. With this study teachers would appreciate the use of counselling teaching as a remedy to the spread of HIV/AIDS.

4. School Counsellors:

They would benefit from recommendations of this study because it will help them to have more insight into the use of counselling to help students out of their sexual problems.

1.7 Scope of the Study

The study will cover the effect of counselling on students’ attitudes towards HIV/AIDS infection in Surulere local government area of Lagos State.

1.8 Definition of Terms

Operational definition of terms were carried out in this study thus:

1. HIV:

This is a term that means Human Immuno Deficiency.

2. AIDS:

This means Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome.

3. School Counsellors:

School counsellors are counselling experts who are in the school environment in order to offer counselling and guidance services to students and others (Amanze, 1990).

4. Technique:

According to Advanced Learners Dictionary, this means technical or mechanical skill in art, something of method of doing something expertly, method of artistic expression in music painting etc.

5. Attitude:

This refers to manner of placing or holding the body, way of feeling, thinking or behaving.

6. Gender:

This means grammatically grouping of words (norms and pronouns into classes (masculine, genuine and neutral).

7. Infection:

Infecting or being infected; contacting a disease, especially by agency of the atmosphere or water, contagious disease, influence that infects.

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