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Perception and Attitude of Secondary School Students Towards HIV/AIDS

Secondary School Students Towards HIV/AIDS


The research was conducted to determine the perception and attitude of students in PrescoSecondary School Abakalikiof Ebonyi State, about HIV/AIDS. Three research questions guided the study. Related literature were reviewed and summarized. Descriptive survey research design was used for the study in order to elicit baseline information in the respondents’ natural settings. It is a research with target population of the secondary school students and they are 200 in number and there was a complete enumeration of such as a sample. A self-developed structured questionnaire consisting of 13 close ended questions was designed and distributed and used for data collection. Validity and reliability of the instrument were ensured. All the 200 copies of questionaire were retrieved and data collected were analyzed using descriptive statistics of frequency distribution tables and charts. Findings from this study showed that 100% of the respondents were aware of HIV/AIDS. 54(27%) of the respondents showed that knowledge about HIV/AIDS is cumbersome while 146(73%) of the respondents did not showed that knowledge about HIV/AIDS is cumbersome. 60% of the respondents testified the awareness of HIV/AIDS campaign and the major factors that hindered good perception and attitude about HIV/AIDS is time constraint while 40% of the respondents testified that the awareness of HIV/AIDS campaign and the major factors that hindered good perception and attitude about HIV/AIDS is ignorance. Finally, the researcher recommends based on the findings that more HIV/AIDS awareness campaign should be organized, Free HIV/AIDS test should be carried out on routine bases.

                            CHAPTER ONE


Background of Study

Secondary school student age in Nigeria are mostly adolescents which characterized by a period of growth and within ages of 12-20 years. It begins at the end of childhood and closes at the beginning of adulthood. It is also a period characterized by functional changes such as self-awareness, exploration and formation of new patterns of behaviour including sexual relationships (Denga, 2002). Adolescents have the right to appropriate information to make decisions and access the means to help them act responsibly. Secondary school children in Nigeria are the victims of circumstances. They are trapped between two cultures, the western culture and the traditional beliefs.  The Igbo tradition does not offer useful information of what reproductive health exist. Sexuality education is only mentioned to them at the point of entry into adulthood, especially at the time of marriage. Even though the adolescents spend the bulk of their growing up at school where sexuality education is offered to them, they still find it difficult to come to terms with the knowledge. Their Christian belief together with the traditional questionnaire does not encourage them to pay attention to any issues that have to do with sexuality. Akpama (2007); Ndama (2003) noted that adolescents are trapped between the western and the traditional culture as is the case with adolescents from Ebonyi State. In this case, access to HIV/AIDS prevention information may not only be the problem, but also understanding and reacting positively to the information given them may also pose a big challenge.

Perception is a process by which an individual selects, organizes and interprets information. Perception can be affected by mental set, attitude, expectation or desire at any given moment, hence an individual can also perceive quite falsely.

Human beings attend to issues according to the perceptual information contained in the issue at stake. Perception in this case occurs as a result of the information that has been interpreted and localized (Omotosho, 2004).

The perception of adolescents towards HIV/AIDS prevention therefore depends on the understanding they are able to deduce from the sensitization handed over to them. Akpama (2007) discovered that adolescents from Cross River State are quite knowledgeable about HIV/AIDS prevention. NGOs and other health authorities have carried HIV/AIDS sensitization to schools and the door steps of the villagers, yet this has not accounted for the much reduction or total eradication. This therefore calls for an indebt search into other variables such as peer group pressure and age through which adolescents perception can be enhanced for positive results.

Attitude on the other hand, is an internal condition which influences human behaviour. It varies according to the importance people attach to issues. Consequently, adolescents attitude towards HIV/AIDS prevention may be guided by the importance attached to it. In Ebonyi State, family attitudes are influenced by the traditions and cultural beliefs. Akpama (2007) discovered that what adolescents know and feel about HIV/AIDS prevention does not compliment their attitude towards HIV/AIDS prevention. They think that since family attitudes are influenced by their cultural and traditional beliefs, the focus of NGOs should be on total behaviour change as enshrined in the customs and traditions of the people of Ebonyi State.

HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) epidemic among adolescents is largely ignored and remains invisible to both adolescents themselves and to society as a whole so that the adolescents are more likely to carry the virus for years without knowing that they are infected. Consequently, the epidemic spreads beyond high risk groups to the broader population due to which HIV/AIDS control programs become harder to succeed. Current data indicates that about 20% of adolescents in Africa, whose age range from 15 up to 19 years (mainly secondary school students), are infected with HIV virus (Majelantleet al., 2014).

A study which was done in Nigerian adolescents in 2011 revealed that about 43% of adolescents have had sex by the age of 15 and nearly 70% of sexual activity among them was unprotected (Oshiet al., 2012). In the same study, over one-third of boys and young men had slept with two or more partners in the previous three month. Additionally, the study revealed that about 90% of adolescents were unable to name all three principal way of avoiding HIV. Only 35% of them who knew that condom is protective used it one last time during sex as compared with 19% of those who did not know. Over one-third of them did not know where to buy condoms. Only 9% of them thought they were at high risk of contracting HIV; however, majority of the adolescents (86%) did not think they were at significant risk, either because they explicitly thought they were safe or else they do not know about HIV/AIDS. Out of 70% of adolescents, who would like to have an HIV test, only 6% have had done the test.

Statement of the problem

Tan et al., (2011), indicated that still more work remain on awareness and behavioral changes among the most vulnerable section of the society, the adolescents. This was due to the fact that the number of adolescents who become infected with HIV was significantly increasing which accounts more than 50% of new HIV infection at global level as compared to other segments of risky population groups.

It is very important to investigate the factors responsible for secondary school students’ perception and non challant attitude towards this dreaded pandemic which need to be addressed. This study aimed at investigate thethat determine the perceptionand attitude of adolescent students towards HIV/AIDS prevention. .

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of the study was to examine the perception and attitudes about HIV/AIDS among students of Presco secondary School, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State.

Objectives of the Study

  1. To assess the awareness of the students of Presco secondary School, Abakaliki about HIV/AIDS.
  2. To determine the attitude of students of Presco secondary school toward HIV/AIDS.
  3. To determine the knowledge of  preventive measures of HIV/AIDS by students of Presco secondary school Abakaliki.

Research Questions

1. What is the awareness of studentsof Presco Secondary School Abakaliki about HIV?

2. What is the attitude of studentsof Presco Secondary School Abakaliki about HIV?

3. What is the knowledge of studentsof Presco Secondary School Abakaliki about HIV?

Significance of the Study

  1. It is anticipated that the findings of this study will give the nurse knowledge on the factors influencing perception and attitude about HIV/AIDS among Presco Secondary School Students.
  2. It will help the nurse adopt ways of assisting students utilize maximally the available counselling and education services about HIV/AIDS.
  3. It will help the government to know where necessary to assist students utilize effectively counselling and education services about HIV/AIDS available thereby reducing transmission rate.

Scope of the Study

The study is delimited to the awareness and views of perception and attitude of students about HIV/AIDS as well as ascertaining the factors influencing the perception and attitudes about HIV/AIDS delimited to selected students ofPresco Secondary School Abakaliki.

Operational definition of terms

HIV/AIDS:Human Immunodeficiency Virus and acquired Immunodeficiency syndrome.

Awareness of HIV:is the ability to directly know and perceive the cognizant of HIV/AIDS

Knowledge of HIV:is the information and understanding about HIV/AIDS.

Preventive Measures of HIV/AIDS:consists of ways/methods taken to for HIV/AIDS.


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