The Level Of Awareness And Attitudes Of Students Towards HIV/AIDS

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The Level Of Awareness And Attitudes Of Students Towards HIV/AIDS


Abstract


This research work focuses on the assessment of the level of awareness of HIV/AIDS among University of Lagos undergraduate students: Implication for Counselling. The study was carried out among the undergraduate students of University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos. The study seeked to find out if there would be significant difference between male and female undergraduate level of awareness of HIV/AIDS, if there would be a significant effect of religion on the level of undergraduate awareness of HIV/AIDS and also significant effect of age on the level of undergraduate awareness of HIV/AIDS. For a representative view, the researcher randomly selected her samples and administered structured questionnaire on 431 students. All the respondents returned completed copies of the questionnaire which were found usable because the items were properly and completely answered. Four research questions and hypotheses were set for this research. They focused on the level of knowledge of HIV/AIDS among students in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state. Frequency counts, percentages and independent t-test were the statistical tools used in the analysis of data procured from the research questions and hypotheses. The findings were firstly that there was significant difference in the knowledge of the causes of HIV/AIDS among students in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state. Secondly, there was significant difference in the knowledge of behaviour that leads to high risk of HIV/AIDS infection among the subjects. Thirdly, there was no significant difference in the knowledge of preventive measures adopted to reduce HIV/AIDS among students in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state. It was concluded that there was need for HIV/AIDS counselling for students in general. The main recommendation was that information about HIV/AIDS should be made available to students in their schools, hostels, homes, libraries, public gatherings and places of worship. Curriculum experts in health education are to incorporate concepts and topics on HIV/AIDS education in the contents of their textbook.


Table of Contents


Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background to the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objectives of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypotheses
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope and Delimitation of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Related Literature

  • 2.0 Introduction
  • 2.1 The Concept of HIV/AIDS
  • 2.1.1 Origin of HIV/AIDS
  • 2.1.2 Causes of HIV/AIDS
  • 2.1.3 Spread of HIV/AIDS
  • 2.1.4 Symptoms of HIV/AIDS
  • 2.1.5 Prevention of HIV/AIDS
  • 2.1.6 Things that Cannot Lead to Contacting HIV/AIDS
  • 2.2 The Concept of Guidance and Counselling
  • 2.3 The Concept of Students
  • 2.3.1 Students’ Ignorance of HIV/AIDS
  • 2.3.2 Teaching Sexuality Education in School
  • 2.4 Theoretical framework
  • 2.5 Review of Previous Studies
  • 2.6 Summary

Chapter Three:

Methodology

  • 3.0 Introduction
  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population
  • 3.3 Sample and Sampling Techniques
  • 3.4 Instrumentation
  • 3.4.1 Description of instrument
  • 3.4.2 Scoring of the Instruments
  • 3.4.3 Validity of the Instruments
  • 3.4.4 Reliability of the Instrument
  • 3.5 Pilot Study
  • 3.6 Administration
  • 3.7 Procedure for Data Analysis

Chapter Four:

Results and Discussion

  • 4.0 Introduction
  • 4.1 Demographic Data
  • 4.1.1 Classification of Respondents by sex and Age
  • 4.2 Research Questions
  • 4.3 Hypotheses Testing
  • 4.4 Summary of Major findings
  • 4.6 Discussion of Results

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

  • 5.0 Introduction
  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Counselling Implication
  • 5.3 Conclusions
  • 5.4 Recommendations
  • 5.5 Suggestion for Further Study
  • References
  • Appendix

Chapter one


Introduction

1.1 Background to the Study

The Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is caused by the human imunedeficiency virus (HIV), which destroys the cells in the body that combats infections. Although, recent medical advances have caused a shift from the mindset of a terminal disease to one of a chronic manageable conditions in some areas of the world. This new approach brings challenges of its own, as the disease is eventually fatal (Forri et al, 1997).

HIV has brought about a global epidemic far more extensive than what was predicted even a decade ago. The issue of HIV/AIDS is not only relevant to medical documentation, but is complex and highly politically charged, affecting all communities regardless of race, age or sexual orientation (Ginsberg, 1995). At the end of the year 2000, it was estimated that there were 36.1 million adults and children living with HIV/AIDS, the vast majority of whom live in the developing world, with more than twenty five million living in the continent of Africa (Global Summary of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic, 2000 and 2001).

Care givers to HIV/AIDS patients need to be highly trained so as to effectively give succour to those who are stigmatized as a result of the contraction of the disease (HIV/AIDS). According to Adams, formal care giving services for the elderly and the diseased individuals are those services bureaucratically provided by non familial and non-informal social systems. Although, families provide majority of care scourge of HIV/AIDS disease and other aliments, formal services also exists in order to support those living with the dreaded disease. Individuals offering care-giving services need to be exposed to training through constant attendance of seminars, workshops, orientation and in-service programmes. These programmes should also be given to other individuals who are not infected with HIV/AIDS so as to prevent the contraction of the disease and to avoid its spreads in the society.

The World Heath Organisation has a set a goal for all Nation’s Heath for all by the year 2000 and the Nigerian health sector has adopted this slogan in the last decade. However, some of the major constraints facing Nigeria include poverty, inadequate human resources, inadequate personnel in the medical sector (the few are concentrated in the cities) illiteracy, poor funding of the health sector (less than 20% of the Gross National Product GNP), and finally lack of information and research into the state of the nation’s health (Ogunba, 2002).

In order to have sustained progress towards our dream or “Health for all by the year 2000”, the health needs for the nation must as a matter of urgency, include some of the following:

Collection of reliable epidemiological data for all the important endemic diseases, especially, the dreaded HIV/AIDS disease, in our country, as well as research inputs into our heath delivery systems so as to determine:

Effectiveness, efficiency, efficacy and cost effectiveness of our efforts at all costs; New tools, methods and management strategies and acceptabilities by the rural people of our concepts and vision for improved and modern medical care; Behaviours, attitudes and environmental factors that may enhance or mar introduction of modern medical concepts into the background of long-time relationship and confidence in the “traditional healers and native doctors”.

The initial outlay for conducting the studies mentioned above may appear high but such data would become rewarding in the long run and make the health delivery service more reliable and cost effective. The tropical developing environment encourages the rapid spread of disease, especially HIV/AIDS, mostly in the rural illiterate setting. It is therefore, mandatory to have mass medical/health education incorporating literacy classes coupled with the production of potable drinking water that will control common preventable diseases such as guinea-worm infection, schistosomiasis, amaebiasis and soil-transmitted helminth infections. These account for 40% of our hospital admissions/attendance and constitute a severe drain on our national health status and economy (Akintayo, 1990).

Idabawa (2002) states that HIV/AIDS is one of the greatest unresolved challenges of our time, threatening the life thread of the entire human race. It has the propensity to wipe out decades of progress and development of affected nation. It has devastating effects on world economy as all countries of the world are directly or indirectly affected. HIV/AIDS thrives on and accelerates poverty, destroys good health and affects education negatively. It also retards the political climate of affected nations, and seriously reduces life expectancy, in the year 2002, about 5 million people were infected with HIV. About 42 million people in the world are living with the virus. From this frightening number, 3.6 million are Nigerians. Over 20 million people have died from AIDS since the first case was diagnosed and 1.7 million were Nigerians.

The statistics is both frightening and overwhelming, for example, though the first case of the virus diagnosed in Nigeria was in 1986, statistics shows increasing cases of the scourge. It has continued to spread steadily from 1.8% in 1998, to 3.8% in 1994, 4.55 in 1999 and 5.8% in 2001. A very high prevalence of 6.8% is found among 15 – 49 age group. This is very alarming as this group is about half of the country’s population reproductive workforce. Nigeria, having crossed the threshold of 5% which is the potential stage of the endemic, is at the crossroads and must take serious and urgent actions to stem the pandemic.

According to Omolewa (1990) caregivers on HIV/AIDS are important role models and they should be aware of this. They require training and support to meet the demands within and outside the country. The nature of HIV/AIDS education makes it mandatory for training need to go beyond basic awareness, training to include establishing relevant and appropriate codes of practice and ethics of the profession. It includes reviewing personal attitudes to ensure that what is taught is what is practiced as caregivers and trainers must live by examples. The caregivers must also acquire specific skills for teaching or imparting the knowledge about the nature of HIV/AIDS and how not to contract it, especially, as such skills are expected to ensure behavioural change.

Specialized teacher education and training to cater for the peculiar needs of HIV/AIDS education poses another challenge in the fight against the HIV/AIDS endemic. Training teachers or the caregivers for HIV/AIDS education, means training virtually all the teachers and caregivers, which is not a mean feat. Capacity building for HIV/AIDS education means colossal expenditure on men and materials. This requires support the caregivers must be well prepared and must be supported in the social work on HIV/AIDS through pre-service and in-service education and training (Kelly, 2000).

Pre-service and in-service education and training/retraining are very important in the delivery of risk education for HIV/AIDS patients. This will ensure that new resources, knowledge and even approaches are considered from time to time and updated. Moreover, new approaches like enquiry-based, rights-based and gender sensitive education which are known to work very well are integrated in their training. Many of these approaches encourage active participation and skills development (Achizie, 2001).

According to Njinja (2001) in every activity, initiative or intervention, resources are needed. Implementation cannot take place in a vacuum. Resources include: human, materials and financial. Human resources in the fight against HIV/AIDS through education include professionally trained HIV/AIDS educators, policy makers, Naval personnel, administrators, social workers and mobilizes, media personnel, community teachers, parents, teachers and partners/stakeholders. Material resources include all teaching and learning materials, curriculum, supplementary texts etc. Financial resources entails funding required for the training of personnel and production of materials. They also need research, monitoring and evaluation.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

A lot of work has been done about Aids especially in terms of prevention and finding a cure, non governmental organization and governmental organization have put so much financial human materials resources in the war against Aids inspite of this the disease has continued to spread at an alarming rate and Africa countries recorded the greatest number of HIV infections and death. The United Nation (UN) estimated that 34.3 million in the world have Aids more than 50% higher than what the world health organization global programme projected in 2002 with 24.3 million of them in sub-Saharan Africa Sampont, 2008.

Everyone is vulnerable to HIV/AIDS infections but it has been observed that adolescent and student are more vulnerable, this is true in most developed and under developed countries from a substantial point of view today University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos stateare under greater peril of HIV/AIDS, STDs and Aids control agency estimate that more than 60% of new cases of HIV/AIDS infections occurs in student between the age bracket of 13-17 years, this is because University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos stateare becoming sexually active and having multiple sexual partners and their vulnerable misconception about course and consequence of the risk severity of the disease. Another issue to be considered is that parents shy away from educating their children sexually, and this type of education may not be in school curriculum which makes most students at risk as a result of ignorance? Not only this many affluent and poor young students with insufficient parental nurture and guidance because parent spend most of their time for mix of survival.

Some College of Education Student lack adequate and proper knowledge about this disease and their own development and its implication through the lack of awareness about protective and provisional health and how to utilize this service and this is attributed to the medical institutional effect today in Nigeria and turn lead to considerable negative aspect such as socio-economic on the students, family and society at large. This implies that if there is awareness and knowledge of consequence of HIV/AIDS among Lagos state University students the high prevalent could be reduces and students will embrace preventive behavioural change since the Lagos state university students have the right to speak specifically in this HIV/AIDS era. The above problem stated necessitated the researcher to set about the project with view to correct e.g. the problem in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state as the focus point.


1.3 Purpose of the Study

This study examined the level of awareness of HIV/AIDS among undergraduates in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state. The specific purposes of the study include:

  1. To ascertain the level of knowledge on causes of HIV/AIDS among students in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state
  2. To identify the level of knowledge on the behaviour that leads to high risk of HIV/AIDS infection among students in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state
  3. To ascertain the level of knowledge on the signs and symptoms of HIV/AIDS among students in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state.
  4. To identify the level of knowledge of preventive measures used in reducing HIV/AIDS among students in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state.

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions were raised to guide the investigation.

  1. What is the knowledge level of HIV/AIDS among students in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state on the causes of HIV/AIDS?
  2. What is the knowledge level of HIV/AIDS among students in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state on the behaviours that lead to high risk of HIV/AIDS infections?
  3. What is the knowledge level of HIV/AIDS among students in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state on the signs and symptoms of HIV/AIDS?
  4. What is the knowledge level of HIV/AIDS among students in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state on the preventive measures to be used to reduce HIV/AIDS infection?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The following null hypotheses were formulated and tested to guide the study.

  1. There is no significant difference on the knowledge level of the causes of HIV/AIDS among male and female students in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state.
  2. There is no significant difference on the knowledge level of behaviours that lead to high risk of HIV/AIDS infections among male and female students in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state.
  3. There is no significant difference on the knowledge level of the signs and symptoms of HIV/AIDS among students in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state.
  4. There is no significant difference on the knowledge level on preventive measures to reduce HIV/AIDS among students in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state.

1.6 Significance of the Study

The HIV/AIDS scourge has grown to such a magnitude that it is now a global problem. It is hoped that this study will motivate the students especially in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state, their parents, guardians and the general public towards behavioural changes that will prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS. It will also alert them to the existence of the dreaded disease. The study will also create the sense of awareness necessary for guarding students from being victims of the disease.

The information gathered will be useful to students as well as lecturers, healthcare providers in schools and colleges, health educators and social workers. The findings will help the students, health workers and social workers to come up with strategies through which they can combat the disease through health promotion and education.

The findings derived from this study will be of tremendous help to the state and local government officials in providing appropriate seminars and conferences for health workers and take counselling measures to be used for people living with HIV/AIDS.

The study also will serve as a useful guide to the private sector as it will help them to proffer solutions on how to reduce the scourge of HIV/AIDS. This can be done through symposia, workshops, talk shows, conferences, role-play and simulation with the help of resource persons.

In addition, the religious groups in the state and especially University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos statewill utilize this information by organizing training and counselling workshops for the students, teachers and parents. The findings of the research will be used to counsel the students with or without HIV/AIDS knowledge. Finally, this study will, hopefully, be a valuable contribution to knowledge, as well as serve as reference material for future scholars.


1.7 Scope and Delimitation of the Study

The study examined the impact assessment of training the trainers programme for HIV/AIDS caregivers in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state.. The population used included both male and female students in schools within University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations

5.0 Introduction

This chapter contains the summary of the findings, conclusions, recommendations and suggestions for further studies based on the findings of the study.


5.1 Summary

The major purpose of this study was to investigate the level of awareness and attitude of students towards HIV/AIDS among students in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state. Among issues addressed were the general knowledge of HIV/AIDS outbreak among students; the knowledge level on the preventive measures of HIV/AIDS, the behaviour that leads to high risk of HIV/AIDS infection; and the signs and symptoms of HIV/AIDS. Research questions were raised and hypotheses formulated for the study which facilitated meaningful results.

The methodology and procedure for data collection and analysis. It described the research design, population of the study, sample and sampling techniques, instrumentation, data collection procedure and data analysis based on the questionnaire administered.

Data were collected and analysed using independent t-test statistical tools to test the hypotheses, measuring the difference between the male and female students’ knowledge of HIV/AIDS.

The following findings were discovered in the investigation.

  1. There was significant difference between the knowledge level of HIV/AIDS among male and female students in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state.
  2. There was significant difference on the behaviour that leads to high risk of HIV/AIDS infection among students in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state.
  3. There was significant difference on the knowledge of signs and symptoms of HIV/AIDS among students in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state.
  4. There was no significant difference between the students’ knowledge on the preventive measures adopted to reduce HIV/AIDS among students in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state.

5.2 Counselling Implications

From the findings and discussions of the study, the knowledge of HIV/AIDS differs amongst the students, so counsellors should be employ the process of counselling students. Since there is no significant difference among the students in the preventive measure adopted to reduce HIV/AIDS, the counsellor should use the same counselling strategy in counselling both male and female students.

It was observed that there was significant difference in the response of students’ knowledge of the behaviours that lead to high risk of HIV/AIDS infection. In offering counselling services, students should be counselled to sustain their knowledge.

There is a significant difference in the knowledge of male and female students on the signs and symptoms of HIV/AIDS. This implies that counsellors should take the difference into consideration when offering counselling to students. In essence, both male and female students need the services of the counsellor.


5.3 Conclusions

This research work on the knowledge of HIV/AIDS among students in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state, draws conclusions that students in the research area generally, have the knowledge of HIV/AIDS. However, the analysis showed that the males have more knowledge of HIV/AIDS than their female counterparts. Therefore, the study recommends that counsellors should offer different counselling services for students based on their gender and needs.

It was also established that students have more knowledge of behaviours that lead to high risk of HIV/AIDS infection. It is necessary to educate the students from time to time on the behaviours that lead to HIV/AIDS infection/acquisitions.


5.4 Recommendations

The problem of HIV/AIDS has reached a stage that it constitutes a serious public health concern in Nigeria. Following the findings on the knowledge level of HIV/AIDS among students in University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos state, the students should be exposed to sex and family life education as well as information about HIV/AIDS. This could be made available to students living in school, in their hostels, at home, libraries, public gatherings, places of worship and through the media.

It is recommended that curriculum experts in health education to incorporate concepts/topics on HIV/AIDS education in the contents of textbooks. There is the need to focus on preventive, and if possible, curative strategies.

This can be achieved through proper AIDS education which will include the provision of accurate and up-to-date information on issues relating to HIV/AIDS.

There is also need to review the health education curriculum of those saddled with the responsibility of imparting knowledge to students. This would enable them to keep pace with current issues and problems in health. It is also essential to promote the use of condom during sexual intercourse among students. Parents and teachers should encourage students to imbibe the spirit of abstinence with regards to sex.


5.5 Suggestion for Further Study

Any researcher aiming at investigating similar research should look into social constraints of HIV/AIDS as it affects the status of the lives of the masses. Both the infected and non-infected persons are directly or indirectly affected by the effects of the virus. A study of control and prevention of spread of HIV/AIDS is suggested for further research.


The Level Of Awareness And Attitudes Of Students Towards HIV/AIDS


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