Knowledge, Belief And Attitude Towards HIV / AIDS Among Secondary School Adolescents

Project and Seminar Material for Sociology

Knowledge, Belief And Attitude Towards HIV / AIDS Among Secondary School Adolescents


Abstract


The study examines knowledge, belief and attitude towards HIV/AIDS among secondary school adolescents in Arigbajo Community, Ifo Local Government, Area of Ogun State.Three research questions and three research hypotheses guided the study, relevant literature on the identified variable were reviewed. A descriptive survey research design was adopted for the study.

The sample for the study comprised 250 respondents selected by means of simple random sampling technique. The instrument used for the data collection was a researcher constructed questionnaire. The data collected in the study was analyzed using Chi-square statistics method. The result of the analysis shows that,the awareness on HIV/AIDS of respondents was fairly high. Gender differences were also found for few variables and that secondary school students in Arigbajo Local Government of Ogun state will not have a significant negative attitude towards HIV/AIDS.


Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background to the study

Human immunodeficiency virus infection acquired immunodeficiency syndrome(HIV/AIDS) is a disease of the human immune system caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). During the initial infection a person may experience a brief period of influenza-like illness. This is typically followed by a prolonged period without symptoms. As the illness progresses, it interferes more and more with the immune system, making people much more likely to get infections, including opportunistic infections, and tumours that do not usually affect people with working immune systems.

HIV is transmitted primarily through unprotected sexual intercourse, contaminated blood transfusions, infected syringe and instrument and from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery or breastfeeding. Some bodily fluids, such as saliva and tears, do not transmit HIV. Prevention of HIV infection, primarily through safe sex and needle-exchange, is a key strategy to control the spread of the disease.

There is no cure for HIV/AIDS; however, antiretroviral treatment can slow the course of the disease and may lead to a near-normal life expectancy. While antiretroviral treatment reduces the risk of death and complications from the disease, these medications are expensive and may be associated with side effects.

HIV originated in west-central Africa during the early twentieth century. It was first recognized by the centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 1981 and its cause HIV infection was identified in the early part of the decade. Since its discovery, AIDS has caused nearly 30 million deaths (2009). As of 2010; approximately 34 million people have contracted HIV globally. AIDS is considered a pandemic, a disease outbreak which is present over a large area and is actively spreading.

The high incidence of HIV/AIDS in sub-Sahara Africa has been widely documented (Taylor, 2003). There are more than 40 million people afflicted with HIV/AIDS worldwide, 30 million are estimated to live in this region of Africa (UNAIDS, 2003). This represents about 70 percent of the global disease burden even though this region of Africa only accounts for about 10 percent of the global population (Eaton et. al, 2002). The most afflicted sub-Saharan African nations include Botswana, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia (White, 2003).

The unique challenges in combating the continuing spread of the disease in the region of Africa have been discussed by various groups and individuals (UNAIDS/UNICEF/WHO, 2002; Piot, 2000; Butler, 2000; Eaton, 2002).

HIV/AIDS has had a great impact on society, both as an illness and as a source ofdiscrimination. The disease also has significant economic impacts. There are manymisconceptions about HIV/AIDS such as the belief that it can be transmitted by casual non-sexual contact. The disease has also become subject to many controversies involving religion.

Nigeria has the third highest population of people living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Despite this, the knowledge of HIV/AIDS and uptake of voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) is still low, especially in the rural areas.

It is also widely documented that half of all new infections with HIV/AIDS now occur in young people under the age of 25. While the spread of the virus may be slowing among other members of the global community, increases in incidence of the disease appear to be the norm among youth all over the world (Morris, 2003).

There are more than six billion people in the world today; one billion are between the ages of 15-24. Half of the population of sub-Saharan Africa is under 18 years of age. One third of those living with HIV/AIDS in the region are between the ages of 15-24 (UNAIDS, 2002). Unless there is global commitment to decreasing the incidence of this contagion in this region of the world, Africa may remain the reservoir for HIV/AIDS transmission in the foreseeable future.

A dearth of knowledge about HIV/AIDS etiology among young people globally, constitutes a major challenge to the control of this scourge. Most people become sexually active in adolescence. The need to admit that young people are having sex but lack the proper knowledge to protect them is particularly important in the war against HIV/AIDS. Young people are now the epicenter and bear a disproportionate burden of this pandemic (WHO/UNICEF/UNAIDS, 2002).

Surveys continue to indicate that young people between 15 and 24 years harbor serious misconceptions about HIV and how it is transmitted (Cohall, et.al,2001).

It is believed that the only way to stop the pandemic without vaccine is through public education on the prevention strategies against HIV/AIDS. Much of this responsibility is borne by the health professions (Mungherera et. al, 1997). The strategy involves dissemination of information to individuals and communities on disease and injury prevention (Caldron, 1997).

Knowledge has been defined as the capacity to acquire, retain and use information (Bacdran,1995). Furthermore knowledge means facts, information, skills and understanding that have been gained especially through learning and experience.

As the pandemic is now in the third decade since it was first identified and is showing no sign of relenting (Mbaya et. al, 2001), it is important for health care workers to be well equipped with current facts, information, treatment options and knowledge of resources available. With the fear of contracting HIV/AIDS in the work place, there could be a tendency among like other health care workers to be afraid of the infection and diseases associated with HIV/AIDS. It is therefore important to assess the knowledge, belief and attitude, in our locality towards HIV/AIDS.

There have been previous studies which evaluated the knowledge and attitude of health care workers towards HIV/AIDS. Wu et.al, (1999) studied knowledge of HIV/AIDS in China while All and Fried (1997) evaluated the anxiety of health care rehabilitation workers in United States of America. Pilyugina et.al, (2000) in their study reported that 48% of health care workers rated their knowledge of HIV/AIDS moderate while 89% of the respondents requested for further training. Kit aura et.al, (1997) reported 80% average knowledge among dental care workers in Japan. A study in United States ofAmerica reported that radiographers support the disclosure of HIV/AIDS result to the patient and mandatory testing for certain group of patients considered to be at risk of infection by the virus. The result also showed that radiographers with more exposure to HIV/AIDS patients were more toleranttowards the issue (Adams, 1990).

The attitude of the general public towards people living with HIV/AIDS is mostly negative (Williamsand Kennedy, (1989); Okoli and King, (1993). People are perceived to be reluctant in attend to HIV/AIDS patients who require their services for fear of being infected with the virus. The aim of this study is to assess the knowledge, belief and attitude HIV/AIDS among secondary school adolescent in Arigbajo community area.


1.2 Purpose of the Study

The main purpose of this work was to examine and seek knowledge, belief, and attitude towards HIV/AIDS among secondary school adolescents in Arigbajo community to the understanding of HIV/AIDS.


1.3 Significant of the Study

  1. The result of this study may contribute to the body of knowledge, belief, and attitude towards HIV/AIDS among secondary school adolescents.
  2. This study may be useful to parents, guidance, students, Government, Policy maker and NGO’S.
  3. It may also serve as a means of increasing their knowledge, belief and attitude towards HIV/AIDS.
  4. It may equally provide the readers with in-depth and current trend in the world of HIV/AIDS.

1.4 Statement of the Problem

It has been observed by the researcher over the years that HIV is transmitted primarily through unprotected sex, contaminated blood transfusions, infected syringe and instrument and from mother to child during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding. Some bodily fluids, such as saliva and tears do not transmit HIV, the year 2000 centennial report revealed that Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome HIV/AIDS infection is more susceptible among the adolescents and youths between the ages of 15 and 24 who are sexually active which is the normal age range for students, as a result of dearth of knowledge about HIV/AIDS etiology among young people globally, the problem under investigation by this study therefore is to determine the knowledge, belief and attitude towards HIV/AIDS among secondary school adolescents.


1.5 Research Question

  1. Does awareness of HIV/AIDS increase the knowledge, belief and attitude towards HIV/AIDS?
  2. What are the impacts of parent in educating adolescents towards HIV/AIDS?
  3. Does sex education make any significant difference in prevention of HIV/AIDS?

1.6 Research hypotheses

  1. Awareness of HIV/AIDS does not make significant difference in knowledge, belief, and attitude towards HIV/AIDS.
  2. Parent does not make any impact in educating adolescents towards HIV/AIDS.
  3. Sex education does not make any significant difference in prevention of HIV/AIDS?

1.7 Delimitation of the Study

This study is delimited to knowledge, belief and attitude towards HIV/AIDS among secondary school adolescents in Arigbajo community, Ifo local Government area of ogun state.


1.8 Limitation of the Study

This research work is limited to knowledge, belief and attitude towards HIV/AIDS among secondary school adolescents in Arigbajo community, Ifo Local Government Area of Ogun state.


1.9 Definition of Terms

AIDS:

Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is an infectious disease caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). There are two variants of the HIV virus, HIV-1 and HIV-2, both of which ultimately cause AIDS.

HIV:

Abbreviation for Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the virus that can lead to the development of AIDS. There are two types of HIV that have been isolated so far, HIV 1 and 2.

HIV Positive Person:

A person on testing who has been found to have antibodies to HIV, if the test is truly positive, then it means the person has been infected with HIV.

HIV Negative Person:

A person on testing does not have antibodies to HIV and hence is either not infected, has recently been infected but has not produced antibodies.

Retrovirus:

Retroviruses are class of viruses characterized by their ability to convert RNA to DNA during replication in the host cell (instead of the reverse as in most other viruses).To do this, it requires an enzyme called ReverseTranscriptase. HIV belongs to this group of viruses.

Condom:

A soft rubber device made of latex which is worn by themale before sexual intercourse begins. The condom prevents sperm from entering the female genital tract andthus prevents pregnancy. It can also prevent contact with seminal and vaginal fluids thereby preventing the transmission of STDs and HIV from either partner.


Knowledge, Belief And Attitude Towards HIV / AIDS Among Secondary School Adolescents


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