The perception of people living with human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome toward human immunodeficiency virus infection: A single-center experience.

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Date: March-April 2020
From: Nigerian Medical Journal(Vol. 61, Issue 2)
Publisher: Medknow Publications and Media Pvt. Ltd.
Document Type: Article
Length: 2,434 words
Lexile Measure: 1560L

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Byline: Chilota. Efobi, Emmanuel. Azuike, Basil. Nwankwo, Uzoma. Chidolue, Helen. Okoye

Background: The prevention and control of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection depend on the prevention of new infections as well as treating currently infected individuals. Adequate knowledge of HIV infection among person living with HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) (PLWHA) may be an important tool in reducing spread of the virus. Objective: The objective of the study was to evaluate knowledge and attitude of PLWHA on HIV infection. Methodology: This was a cross-sectional study conducted at the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu Teaching Hospital. Knowledge of infection, spread, control, and effect was sought from HIV-positive respondents using a structured questionnaire. Information about their attitude and beliefs was also obtained. Collected data were analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences for Windows, Version 21.0. Results: A total of 70 HIV-positive patients, including 23 (32.9%) males and 47 (67.1%) females with a mean age of 37.7 years were participated. The overall knowledge on HIV transmission, clinical effects, complications, and controls was good in 15.7%, average in 72.9%, and poor in 11.4%. Knowledge of means of transmission was appropriate in majority of them. Majority of 66 (94.3%) patients showed a positive attitude to life. Conclusion: Most of the HIV-positive patients had average knowledge on HIV, and majority had a positive attitude to life.

Introduction

Recently, the United Nations Programme on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) reported that approximately 36.7 million people are living with HIV/AIDS worldwide with over 25 million of them in sub-Saharan Africa.[1] This shows that sub-Saharan Africa bears the greatest burden of HIV/AIDS accounting for over 68% of the global burden, and thus, making control of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa a global concern. Worldwide, there remains a trend toward increased prevalence of HIV due to improved care and decrease in HIV-related deaths, and therefore, HIV can be described as a chronic disease.[2] In addition to this, Nigeria ranks third among the sub-Saharan African countries with the largest number of new infections.[3]

Often times, new HIV infections occur through sexual contact, and this transmission occurs mostly from persons unaware of their HIV-positive status, because PLWHA who are mindful of their HIV status are more likely to embrace behavioral changes, and hence, practice safe sex to reduce the odds of transmission of HIV.[4] Because self-knowledge of HIV has been shown to reduce the high-risk sexual behavior, and ultimately, the transmission of HIV[5] to curb the trend toward the increasing incidence of HIV, interventions that promote adequate knowledge of HIV/AIDS, and its spread including mode of transmission and knowledge of vulnerable group is necessary.[6] Other factors that can help to reduce the risk and incidence, which include practice of safe sex, decreasing levels of sexually transmitted diseases, and stigma and discrimination against persons living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA).[4],[5]

Given the high prevalence of HIV in Nigeria, measures that can prevent the spread such as preventive campaingns should be strengthened or reenforced. More research on the knowledge and attitude of PLWHA to...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A623903199