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AN ASSESSMENT OF THE PREVALENCE AND THE RISK CIRCULATION PREVENTION OF HIVAIDS IN THE TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS

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AN ASSESSMENT OF THE PREVALENCE AND THE RISK CIRCULATION PREVENTION OF HIVAIDS IN THE TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  1. Background of the study

The prevalence of HIV infection remains a significant health concern, with around 1.5 million new cases, 10.2 million untreated cases (out of a total of 37.7 million), and 680,000 AIDS-related deaths reported globally in 2020. The HIV/AIDS pandemic has surpassed two decades in duration. In Africa, the pandemic has disproportionately affected our economies and cultures, which are frequently undermined by poverty, internal conflicts, and limited in their ability to effectively respond to such a significant danger. In recent times, the detrimental effects of the pandemic have been the main focus of media coverage and the agenda for progress (UNAIDS, 2017).

Global data from 2019 reveals that 5.1 million adolescents and young adults were HIV-positive. Notwithstanding a 46% reduction in new infections among adolescents and youths during the previous decade, individuals aged 15 to 24 constituted two out of every seven newly diagnosed cases of HIV. Specific populations were identified by the countries participating in Global AIDS Monitoring as having an increased vulnerability to infection. These populations included those involved in sex work, homosexuals and other men who engage in sexual activity with men, injectable drug users, transsexuals, and those who are deprived of their liberty (Woma, 2016).

According to Okon (2019), epidemic proportions of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) had been reached in the majority of sub-Saharan African regions by the end of the previous century. In 1997, the region recorded an estimated 21 million cases of HIV/AIDS, representing two-thirds of the global total for that particular year. It would have appeared that this trend had continued for close to ten years. Current estimates place 80% of AIDS cases globally among those aged 15 to 24 years. Individuals under the age of 25 comprise half of all newly diagnosed cases of HIV infection. A quarter of this population resides in the sub-Saharan African region. Tertiary institutions (IHEs) in Nigeria are authorised to admit undergraduates between the ages of 15 and 24 (Okon 2019).

A recent reevaluation of the relationship between HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) has revealed that the coexistence of both conditions is linked to an elevated risk of contracting HIV and an increased likelihood of transmitting the virus to a sexual partner. Adolescents are especially susceptible to acquiring the virus. The majority of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan African nations transpire among individuals between the ages of 15 and 24, with some countries reporting prevalence rates in this age bracket surpassing 20%. Implementing preventive interventions specifically targeted at this demographic constitutes a critical approach to managing HIV/AIDS. Despite recent demands for greater awareness regarding the significant prevalence of HIV transmission among young people, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, a unanimous agreement has yet to be reached on the most effective strategies for preventing youth HIV infection (Zainab, 2020).

Students enrolled in tertiary institutions in Nigeria may be exposed to HIV for a variety of reasons, including economic, cultural, and social factors, as well as gender-based differences in the perception of the infection (Ebeniro). In general, Nigerian pupils possess a sufficient understanding of HIV infection. Nevertheless, the immediate school environment continues to provide an ideal setting for risky sexual conduct. A significant proportion of tertiary institutions in Nigeria are situated in rural regions or on the outskirts of urban centres. The potential impact of rural host communities on the dynamics and patterns of HIV infection at tertiary institutions in Nigeria is a matter of concern. This and many more are the reasons for this study.

    1. Statement of the problem

On university campuses, sustainable programmes and strategies for HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness are woefully inadequate or are frequently neglected. Negative effects on HIV infection rates may result from social interaction between students and individuals living with HIV/AIDS in communities housing tertiary institutions. Furthermore, as a consequence of the scarcity of suitable housing options, half of the student body attending tertiary institutions in Nigeria comprises individuals who reside in the surrounding villages or rural areas. An increasing amount of scholarly work demonstrates that universities must immediately adopt all-encompassing strategies to halt the spread of the HIV epidemic. Tertiary institutions are shrouded in a dense cloak of ignorance regarding the disease, according to these reports (Zainab, 2020).

Tertiary institutions in Nigeria are marked by unrest among students, which is colloquially referred to as "student cultism." This is an enduring issue that has implications for both academic and social spheres. However, there is a scarcity of data regarding the prevalence of HIV and the sexual behaviour patterns of male and female students in tertiary institutions. Therefore, the primary objective of the study is to assess the prevalence and the risk circulation prevention of HIV/AIDS in the tertiary institutions.

    1. Objectives of the study

The primary objective of the study is to assess the prevalence and the risk circulation prevention of HIV/AIDS in the tertiary institutions. Specific objectives of the study are:

  1. To determine the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the tertiary institutions.

  2. To examine the risk factors aiding the circulation of HIV/AIDS infection in tertiary institutions.

  3. To analyse the prevention strategies of HIV/AIDS infection in tertiary institutions.

    1. Research Questions

The following research questions are:

  1. What is the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the tertiary institutions?

  2. What are the risk factors aiding the circulation of HIV/AIDS infection in tertiary institutions?

  3. What are the prevention strategies of HIV/AIDS infection in tertiary institutions?

    1. Research Hypotheses

The following research hypothesis will validate this study:

Ho1: The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the tertiary institutions is low.

Ha1: The prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the tertiary institutions is high.

1.6 Significance of the study

Human Immune deficiency Virus (HIV) and acquire immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) has continued to be the major concern not only to the government but to educational institutions and the entire world. This study may serve as a pioneer study towards the understanding of HIV/ AIDS in tertiary institutions. The result of this study may help policy maker’s particularly educational planners in the country to design more appropriate instructional programme on HIV/ AIDS especially in higher institutions.

The study may also provide the basis for further research on HIV/AIDS.

1.7 Scope of the study

This study primarily focuses on the assessment of the prevalence and the risk circulation prevention of HIV/AIDS in the tertiary institutions. Specifically, the study focuses on determining the prevalence of HIV/AIDS in the tertiary institutions, examining the risk factors aiding the circulation of HIV/AIDS infection in tertiary institutions and analysing the prevention strategies of HIV/AIDS infection in tertiary institutions.

Students from the University of Uyo will serve as enrolled participants for the survey of this study.

1.8 Limitations of the study

The researchers faced a few minor obstacles while conducting the study, just as in every scientific endeavour. Lack of literature on the proposed topic was a key barrier. Hence, locating the pertinent resources, books, or information and the data gathering procedure took a lot of effort and organization. Additionally, the study solely covers students from the University of Uyo, and with limited sample size since the researcher lacked resources to cover the the whole local government, therefore the accuracy of the result will totally base on the data provided to the researcher by the responses of their respondents. Hence, the results of this study cannot be generalized for other state, which leaves a gap for further research. Lastly, some of the respondents were afraid to disclose what happened and were nostalgic of their home situation. The researcher dealt with this limitation by assuring the respondents orally before administering the research instrument the anonymity and confidentiality of their shared information. The research instrument introduction also emphasized confidentiality, anonymity and the purpose of the study. However all aspects were minimized in order to deliver the best results possible and ensure the success of the research, despite the limitations that were faced during the study.

1.9. Definition of terms

HIV/AIDS: HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) is a virus that attacks cells that help the body fight infection, making a person more vulnerable to other infections and diseases. It is spread by contact with certain bodily fluids of a person with HIV, most commonly during unprotected sex (sex without a condom or HIV medicine to prevent or treat HIV), or through sharing injection drug equipment.

Prevalence: In epidemiology, prevalence is the proportion of a particular population found to be affected by a medical condition at a specific time.

Risk factor: In epidemiology, a risk factor or determinant is a variable associated with an increased risk of disease or infection. Due to a lack of harmonization across disciplines, determinant, in its more widely accepted scientific meaning, is often used as a synonym.


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