ATTITUDE AND PERCEPTION OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS TOWARDS HIV/AIDS IN NIGERIA SECONDARY SCHOOLS.

ABSTRACT

The study was designed to assess the attitude and perception of secondary schools students towards HIV/AIDs in Nigeria secondary school, a case study of Ikere Local Government area of Ekiti state. In order to effectively execute this study, four hypotheses were formulated. The significant level of 0.05 was adopted to reject or accepts the hypotheses. The sample size consisted of one hundred twenty students who were drawn from five secondary schools in Ikere Ekiti. Data that were collected were analysed. Statistical methods employed in analysing the data were chi square test Percentages, Frequencies and Distribution were all employed in the data analysis. The study also shows that there is a relationship between students’ socio-economic status and their knowledge, attitude and belief toward HIV/AIDS. It was recommend that the school authorities and the other agencies concerned should came forward to design awareness campaigns for the benefit of the students in the study area and Nigeria at large so as to help them develop proper understanding of what HIV/AIDS is, how it is spread, and how it is prevented. Also given the present lack of curative drug for AIDS, the emphasis must be on education, prevention and research between the students’ in secondary schools. Finally, Community and Non-Government Organizations (NGOs) need to provide loans/grants to students, particularly those students’ from low socio-economic status, to enable them become self-reliant through Income Generating Activities (IGA) in order to alleviate poverty which is the major cause of HIV/AIDS transmissions.

 

CHAPTER ONE

1.0  Introduction

1.1  Background of the Study

In the last 20 years, Aids (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) has killed over 25 million people, since it was first recognized in 1981 and thus making it one of the most destructive epidemics in recorded history. AIDS is a fatal disease without a cure and it is a disease that responds to little treatment.

It is acquired which means that it is not passed down from generation to generation through a person gene. AIDS is a disease that attacks the immune system in the body. It is a system in the body that produces white blood cells in order to fight diseases.

According to Gong and Rudniick (1987), Aids is a condition which is caused by HIV (Human Immune Deficiency Virus) which was first reported in the last spring of 1981by Michael Gotieb and four of his colleague at the University of California, School of Medicine Los Angeles, United State of American.

According to these authors, the discovery was made among five homosexuals, since then there has been massive spread of HIV among people of all ages, races, countries as well as continents. In 1983, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) was first discovered by a French Cancer Specialists Luc Montagros along with other scientists, at the Pasteur Institution in Paris. Since then, cases have been reported with reasons of promiscuity of sexually active people during the 1980s and the sharing of intravenous hypodermic needles and syringes by drug users.

The high incidence of HIV/AIDS since it was discovered has been widely reported among secondary school students. US AIDS (2000) reported categorically that half of newly HIV infected persons who numbers about 15,000-16,000 per day were aged 15-24 years (largely adolescent in senior secondary classes). Despite the high incidence of the disease among youths, the attitude of students toward HIV/AIDS over the years has been negative.

According to Hamalaine and Keinen-Ken (1990) stated that young people despite their good HIV/AIDS knowledge they still underestimate their own risk of becoming infected with such virus HIV/AIDS. Adolescents believe themselves to be less promiscuous than average (Abrams, 1990) and they believe that their sexual behaviour and their partner are responsible (that is being in a relationship for a very long time with their partner).

In the same view, Woodluck (1992) explained that some adolescents do not trust the information they get from the mass media and believe that the risk of infection is being exaggerated compared to other risks of life.

The apparent poor behaviour of students towards HIV/AIDS counsellor is further complicated by some families which they no longer discuss sexual issues with their children to avoid them from being more promiscuous. Religious organisations and community activists who preach chastity, education and abstinence only political leaders would not release available resources to match the magnitude of the problem. All these constitute to the different attitude of youths towards the source of HIV/AIDS counselling and it’s transmission in the entire world.

Also, on the issue of sexuality, the Nigeria based “project” for human development has opined that teaching sex education in schools will help the youths in sex. Moreover, it is not good at a tender age because it could be dangerous. The organisation further stated that “sex education is good within the family but not in the school, it is alien to our people and can destroy our nation” (vanguard, 2002).

It is therefore clear, that this high level of ignorance and attitude towards HIV/AIDS counselling and other related issues must be controlled in our community, states and our nations at large should work hand in hand. This solution shall be urgently needed especially the secondary school students who are mainly adolescents and considered as a vulnerable group. In other words, the present epidemic scourge and poor attitude of students calls for awareness.

Through counselling the students will make a wise decision and choose about their personal character and development as well as their behaviour change.

Despite this, the knowledge of HIV/AIDS in sub-Sahara Africa is still very low. Generally, women are less informed about HIV than men in both Urban and Rural Areas. It means the case of ten countries where one out of two adults is infected. Although, several studies have assessed HIV/AIDS, knowledge, attitude and practice in different part of Nigeria, most of the students were conducted in health facilities. There is a dept of information regarding residents or rural communities particularly in northern Nigeria.

In a similar study conducted by United State Agency for International Development ( US AIDS, 2000) in four African countries of Botswana, Cameroun, Guinea and South Africa. It was found out that there was positive attitude towards preventive measures against HIV/AIDS in the absence of an effective vaccine and cure, Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) consisting of minimum of pre and post test counselling and testing can be use as an anti-retroviral treatment. Another role of VCT is the potential in the prevention of mother to the child transmission of HIV through the use of anti-retroviral drugs and modifications of infant feeding practice, without these interventions.

The transmission of mother to child usually occurs in 21-32% of HIV positive pregnancies. On testing and counselling Batley, Spratt, Stepherded, Rauman and Mehendale carry out a study in India on HIV testing and counselling both men and women attending sexually transmitted disease (STD) clinics. A total of 1.62% men tested negative in the study. They agreed to return in three months interval to report the HIV testing and counselling, at the end of the study, the result showed that the level of consistence use of condom with commercial sex workers increased proportionately with time.

Although, research was not carried out in Warri South Local Government Area, efforts will be geared towards refocusing the findings in this work. This research is therefore talking about the nature of AIDS infection since young people is no more sexually active at young age than those in the previous generation. The need for counselling those adolescents cannot be over stressed but, in order for them to benefit from counselling depend on the level of knowledge of the issues at stake and one’s attitude towards them. Hence, there is need for this research to determine the attitude of student towards HIV/AIDS counselling.

1.2  Statement of the Problem

The level of awareness of HIV/AIDS reported in other studies is high but it is widely source, that Nigeria youth demonstrated a poor attitude towards HIV/AIDS counselling. this brought about the fact that while the spread of the virus may be slowly among other members of the global community, increase in the incidence of disease appears to be normal among youths. And unless there is a global commitment to change their attitude, this contagious disease may be too difficult to control in the nearest future.

Despite students’ negative attitude which account for the spread of the disease among adolescents and youths in schools, this problem has been identified and seem relevant in the course of the study.

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Updated: 17th January 2018 — 12:04 pm

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