JOURNAL ARTICLE

Attitude of health-care workers to HIV/AIDS

A E Sadob, A O Fawole, W E Sadoh, A O Oladimeji, O S Sotiloye
African Journal of Reproductive Health 2006, 10 (1): 39-46
16999193
The current 5% prevalence rate of HIV in Nigeria represents a significant population of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Discrimination against PLWHA has profound impact on the care and support required for their optimal management particularly in resource-constrained settings. The study sought to assess the knowledge of health-care providers about HIV/AIDS, determine the potential for discrimination in the provision of services based on patients' HIV sero-status and review the factors that may contribute to such attitude. Self-administered semi-structured questionnaires were administered to respondents who were selected by multi-stage sampling technique. The questionnaires explored the respondents' knowledge about HIV and their attitude and practice regarding PLWHA. Three hundred and forty-five questionnaires were completed. Only 77.1% correctly identified breastfeeding as a source of HIV transmission; 5.2%and 2.6% respectively thought transmission was possible through mosquito bite and handshake. About 10% and 15% respectively among trained nurses and auxiliary nurses were unaware that HIV could be transmitted to the child during delivery. Some 13.9% and 12.7% of respondents respectively were unwilling to take vital signs and carry out physical examination on PLWHA. Compared to physicians, trained nurses and auxiliary nurses were more likely to deny services based on HIV sero-status. Negative attitude was more likely if the source of the HIV infection was from homosexual exposure or bisexual indiscretion. The health-care workers studied manifested certain attitudes that are potentially discriminatory of PLWHA. Well-coordinated continuing education of HIV/AIDS for all categories of health-care workers is recommended as a vital strategy in the crusade against the epidemic.

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