Influence Of Gender And Locality On The Attitude Of Adolescents Towards Aids

Project and Seminar Material for Psychology

Influence Of Gender And Locality On The Attitude Of Adolescents Towards Aids


This study investigated Influence of Gender and Locality on the Attitude of Adolescent Towards ADIS. 100 were Adolescent randomly selected from urban and rural area for the study. The age range was between 15-19 years with a mean age of 17years. Attitude towards AIDS scale Comoluabi 1995 was used for data collection. 2´2 factorial design was used and a two way ANOVA was also adopted as a statistical test, findings showed no significant gender difference. Male and female share similar attitude towards AIDS. There was a significant localfect. Those who live in the urban area were found to have more posture attitude than those who live in rural area. There was significant interaction effect, findings were discussed in relation to literature review and recommendation were also made.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

The ravages of the AIDS epidemic have made this disease the highest priority of our health system. In the absence of a cure, or more effective prevention or treatment, it was projected in 1993 (Chesney, 1993) that the world could expect 30 to 40 million new cases by 2000 (Mann, 1991). These projections are on tract or are proving to be underestimated particularly in developing nations.

In 2000, the total number of people living with HIV was estimated at 34.3 million, in the hardest hit regions in Southern Africa, between 15% and 30% of the adults population are believed to be HIV positive. Furthermore, the United Nations estimated that at least 2 of every 5 girls and boys, who are 15 years old today, in the countries in Southern Africa, will die of AIDS (Schwartlanders, Garnelt, walkers, and Anderson, 2000).

AIDS/HIV is a disease which affects human immune system. AIDS has become the world’s fourth leading cause of death and number one killer in Africa, where in 1998 it took 1.83 million lives (balter, 1999). AIDS as it name tells us, is an immune disorder an acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which is spread by exchange of bodily fluids, primarily semen and blood. AIDS/HIV kills slowly; it ironically can be lethal to more people. When the HIV infections becomes manifest as AIDS, some years after the initial infection, the person has difficulty fighting off other diseases, such as pneumolystis, pneumonia, cancer, dementia, or a wasting syndrome in which the body literally withers away. Also after several months to several years with no symptoms, patients may develop minor health problems such as weight loss, fever, and night sweats, symptoms that make up the condition known as AIDS-Related-Complex (ARC).

On June 5, 1981, the centers for disease control reported the first case of acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). In the decades that followed, AIDS grew from an unknown disease into a devastating worldwide epidemic for which no medical cure has been found. According to the world health organization (2002), about 16,000 new infections occur each day. Worldwide, 1 in every 100 adults between the ages of 15 and 49 are infected with the AIDS virus, and the disease has so far claimed the lies of nearly 20 million people of the 3 million people who died from AIDS in 2001, 37 percent were woman and 20 percent were children. In some countries of Southern Africa, 25 to 40 percent of the population is infected, including a third of all pregnant women. Globally, only 5 to 10 percent of the cases now occur in homosexual men (the population typically identified with the Affliction), and women now make up half of all HIV cases (United Nation, 2002). In the early 2000’s, the rate of infection began to rise again among homosexual men in North America, Europe and Australia due to increases in risky sexual behaviour (CDC, 2003). The AIDS epidemic threatens to overwhelm the words health care financing and delivery systems.

AIDS is caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), which cripples the immune system. The patient then becomes vulnerable to invading viruses, bacteria, and tumors, which are the actual killers. Because the AIDS virus evolves rapidly, vaccines are at the present ineffective in preventing its spread. Moreover, the incubation period between initial infection and the appearance of the disease may be as long as 10 years, meaning that an infected needles in intravenous drug use; and exposure to infected blood through transfusion or in the womb.

In the absence of a vaccine or cure, the only existing means of controlling the AIDS epidemic is by changing the high-risk behaviours that transmits the virus. In this respect, AIDS is as much as psychological problem as a medical one. Prevention programs are typically designed to

Educate people concerning the risks that attend certain behaviours, such as unprotected sex
Motivate people to change their behaviour to people living with the virus
Provide specific guidelines for changing the risky behaviours and teach the skills needed for changes and
Give support and encouragement or the desire changes (O’Leary 2001).
Even when something as urgent as AIDS prevention is involve the research has shown that the success of prevention programs depends on the extent to which the individual social system supports the desires changes (Herd & Linden Baum, 1992).

On promising approach to attitude change which was inspired by Albert Banduras social cognitive theory. It involves the use of modeling procedures to change attitude and behaviour. In some of the poorest and most hopeless parts of the word (Bandura, 2000). The strategy is to produce highly engaging ‘entertainment-education” radio dramas to increase awareness and counter-act false beliefs. In Tanzania, for example, many people enoneously believe that AIDS is transmitted by mosquitoes and that using a condom while having sex could actually cause the disease. Health psychologists who focus on AIDS often design programs to educate people about AIDS and to help prevent AIDS. Attitudes are often unrelated to behaviour, that is, people know that consequences of high risk behaviour can be deadly, and they certainly have negative attitudes about acquiring AIDS, but their behaviour may still be risky.

1.2 Statement of the Problems

Not withstanding all the efforts by both government and non-governmental organization against AIDS, the problem of the pandemic is still at increase. As a psychologist, I became worried on what could by the reason; on to this, thought that the major reason for the continued spread of the virus maybe attributed to the attitude of the public, especially adolescent towards this virus. Adolescent were chosen as the target population because they are not only the leader of tomorrow but thy engage more on illicit sex than adult who are married. Therefore in looking at the problem of attitude towards AIDS, the researcher decided to use gender and locality as reference. Therefore following problems were addressed in this study.

Will gender significantly determine attitude of adolescents towards AIDS? Will locality significantly determine attitude of adolescents towards AIDS?

1.3 Purpose of the Study

The aims of this study are as follows:

  1. To determine whether gender will significantly influence attitude of adolescents towards AIDS.
  2. To examine whether locality will significantly determine attitude of adolescents towards AIDS.

1.4 Research Questions

  1. Does gender significantly influence attitude of adolescents towards AIDS?
  2. Does locality significantly determine attitude of adolescents towards AIDS?

1.5 Hypotheses

The following hypotheses were tested:

  • HO1: Gender will not significantly determine attitude of adolescents towards AIDS.
  • HO2: Locality will not significantly determine attitude of adolescents towards AIDS.

1.6 Justification of Study

The HIV/AIDS pandemic had become a human, social and economic disaster, with far-reaching implications for individuals, communities and countries. No other disease has so dramatically highlighted the current disparities and inequities in health-care access, economic opportunity and the protection of basic human rights. Since 1981, the pandemic has killed 25 million people, out of 79.9 million total infections. Today, about 33.3 million adults and 2.2 million children in the world are living with HIV. Each year there are more and more new HIV infections, which shows that people either are not learning the message about the danger of HIV, or are unable or unwilling to act on it. Many people are dangerously ignorant about the virus. This disease had affected people from every nook and corner of the world without any age or gender parity.

Several reasons are commonly advanced for why the adolescent is a particularly appropriate site for HIV/AIDS education. The first is that adolescents are captive audience. For virtually all the countries in the region, majority of adolescents enroll in school before they are 12 and spend several years in school. The inclusion of HIV/AIDS education in the curriculum would seem therefore to be an efficient and effective use of their time. Ensuring that the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes are inculcated into a manner that will lead to safe sexual behavior calls for a range of learning objectives and related instructional strategies over the entire school cycle. Adolescence is period in which they become sexually active and have already acquired practices that are often counterproductive to negative sexual behaviors and attitudes.

Adolescent’s education is gaining much significance and relevance in the present scenario where adolescents presently need proper guidance and counseling on various crucial issues affecting their life. Adolescent education touches all such issues including the malice’s of drug addiction and other sexual behavior related problem including HIV/AIDS. It was in this context that adolescent education has been introduced in schools for the adolescents. The present study is a humble effort to assess to which extent this program has made a dent on the awareness, attitude and behavior of the students in relation to HIV/AIDS.

Hence to study HIV/AIDS awareness, attitudes and behavior in the proposed study are very relevant. According to psychologist it is a crucial period for the adolescents when they are not appropriately aware of the external world. Also for the right knowledge and protection from this disease, it is important that the youth of the country are equipped with right knowledge, attitude and safe sexual behavior related to HIV/AIDS. The review of related literature also reveals that the studies of this nature are very rare, therefore the proposed study is very much needed and is quite justified. In other words adolescents are especially critical in achieving HIV/AIDS related awareness, attitude and right sexual behavior for their safe life.

1.7 Organization of Study

The study is organized into five chapters. Chapter one deals with the study’s introduction and gives a background to the study. Chapter two reviews related and relevant literature. The chapter three gives the research methodology while the chapter four gives the study’s analysis and interpretation of data. The study concludes with chapter five which deals on the summary, conclusion and recommendation.

1.8 Operational Definition of Terms

  1. Attitude – Predisposition of a behaviour
  2. Adolescents -Individuals between the ages of 12-20 years
  3. Locality – Being urban or rural area
  4. Gender – being male or female
  5. AIDS – Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
  6. HIV – Human Immunodeficiency Virus.
  7. PLWHA – people living with HIV/AIDS.

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary of the Study

Findings of this study can be summarized as follows:

There was no significant gender difference on the attitude of adolescents towards AIDS. In addition, a significant interaction effect of locality was observed on the attitude of adolescents towards AIDS. Finally, no interaction effect of gender and locality on the attitude of adolescents towards AIDS.

5.2 Conclusion

Based on the findings of this study the researcher hereby concludes that most of the adolescents show negative attitude towards AIDS.

Gender difference was not observed while locality is a determinant of adolescent’s attitude towards AIDS, within rural participants showing higher negative attitude towards AIDS.

Interaction effect was also found between female and male adolescents towards AIDS.

5.3 Implications of the Study

This study has obvious implications. The study will serve as an eye opener to a better understand of factors affecting war against the spread of HIV/AIDS. It could be recalled that not withstanding numerous efforts by government at all levels and non-governmental organizations to ameliorate the spread of HIV/AIDS, the pandemic is increasing.

The outcome of this study revealed that negative attitude to HIV/AIDS is a major factor that affects war against the spread of the virus.

In addition to that, the present study has exposed to the stakeholder in the fight against HIV/AIDS were they should beam their search light with based on the fact that the negative attitude is more among rural dweller. This indicates that campaign should focus more in the rural areas than urban areas. In doing so, local languages should be employed.

Finally, the study will be used as empirical work for future researchers who will carry similar study.

5.4 Recommendations

Based on the findings of this study, the following recommendations are here by made.

Future researchers should carry similar study in another locality with different cultural background to determine the cross-validity of this study across culture.

Future researchers should also look at the role of other variable such as educational background, and so on in determining attitude towards AIDS.

Furthermore, government at local level should pay attention to the campaign against HIV/AIDS stigma. This is very important because they are the closest level of government to masses especially the rural dwellers. It is also very important to be using local language the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Finally, Non-governmental organization in collaboration with school authorities, market authorities, organizations of various should always organize seminars, conferences and workshop on war against HIV/AIDS. Such activities should center more on changing the negative attitude of the public towards HIV/AIDS.

5.5 Limitations of the Study

The present study has obvious limitations first and foremost; only 120 adolescents were used out of myriad of adolescents in our society.

This was as a result of lack of money .The exercise would have covered many hospital but researchers lack the to do so. In addition, lack of adequate time could not allow the researcher to carry the study on many hospitals. This is because the study was conducted when

In addition, the attitude of participants towards the completion of the questionnaire at initial stage was not encouraging. Most of them were afraid thinking that the information they will give, will be used against them by the school authority. Though this was later overcome through rapport and confidentiality.

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