HIV/AIDS PREVENTION AND THE ROLE OF THE FAMILY AMONG YOUTHS IN MKPAT ENIN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA

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CHAPTER ONE
INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background of the Study:
One of the leading causes of premature death in the last thirty years has been the scourge of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The disease, AIDS, was first clinically observed in 1981 (Gerald, 2010). From then, it has spread to all continents of the world and remains a great killer, a disease to which no man has found solution. In 1988 alone, about 5.8 million new cases occurred, bringing the total number of people living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)/ AIDS by December, 1998 to approximately 33.4 million. The Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS, 2011) estimates that as at 2010, there were 34 million people living with HIV or AIDS worldwide. Since the beginning of the epidemic, AIDS has killed more than 25 million people worldwide. Fifteen million children have been orphaned by the epidemic. Young people worldwide are the sub-group mostly affected, while about half of new HIV cases are occurring in people within the age bracket 15-24.
Nigeria, like other nations of the world, is not left out of this epidemic. Although the virus was first identified in Nigeria in 1988, over 4 million Nigerians were estimated to have contacted the virus by the end of 1998. This makes Nigeria the second country in Africa with the heaviest burden of the disease, in terms of absolute number of those afflicted, second only to South Africa. Ologun (2002) reported that HIV/AIDS is now found in all states of Nigeria. It is equally believed that Nigeria ranked second in HIV infection in the sub-Saharan Africa. The Federal Ministry of Health/UNAIDS (2001) technical report further reveals that about 2.6 million Nigerians between ages 15 and 49 years are HIV positive. The figure increased to 3.1 million in 2002 with a national zero-prevalence rate of 5.8. Globally, UNAIDS (2003) gave a rough estimate that the 10% world HIV/AIDS infection is from Nigeria. As at 2004, it was confirmed that about 3.5 million Nigerians live with HIV/AIDS. This affirmation was made during the launching of National policy on HIV/AIDS held in Abuja on August 4, 2004.
The disease is fast destroying the most productive age groups within the Nigerian population. It affects men and women in urban and rural areas, as well as adolescents, commercial sex workers, traders, high profile politicians and socialites; servicemen and women, truck drivers and students. Indeed, several thousands have died from the disease, and this has brought untold hardship and disorganization to many families (Awake, 2002; Odusanya).
One fundamental issue that remains high on international agenda is the vision of getting to zero new HIV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths according to UNAID Global Report for 2012. Hence many countries of the world in 2011, embraced the United Nations Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS with the aim of intensifying efforts to eliminate epidemic and to take specific steps to achieve ambitious goals. According to the report, 60% more people have accessed life saving HIV treatment, with a corresponding drop in mortality. New infection rates have fallen by 50% or more in 25 countries – 13 of them in sub-Saharan Africa. Half of all the reductions in HIV infections in the past two years have been among children. However, in spite of the world wide efforts and the ray of hope, report still shows that in many countries, people living with and affected by HIV still face stigma, discrimination and injustice.
Hence, the report of Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2009 & 2011) on HIV/AIDS among youth is instructive. The reports which found that many adolescents begin having sexual intercourse at early ages concluded that HIV education should take place before young people engage in sexual behaviors that put them at risk and that parent communication and monitoring may play an important role in reaching youth early with prevention messages.

1.2 Statement of the Problem
Since the identification of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) as the etiologic agent of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), the world has witnessed an unprecedented aspiration to end the spread of HIV and find a cure. Tremendous gains have been made over the past three decades in the control and treatment of HIV. Indeed, antiretroviral treatment (ART) has transformed HIV infection from a death sentence to a chronic disease. Nonetheless, a cure for HIV infection is still an aspiration. Despite this notable progress, HIV transmission continues to be a serious concern, as new and drug-resistant strains of HIV are diagnosed daily in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area, amidst several evidence-based prevention programs, though chiefly focused on reducing individual risk. Yet recent work has shown that family-centre approach to HIV prevention intervention are successful in the fight against the spread of HIV and minimize its impact on the affected and infected family members, as well as enhance the outcomes of HIV care and treatment.
Since family plays critical role in promoting health, preventing disease, providing care and support, and on the front line in preventing HIV transmission, providing education and reinforcing risk reducing HIV-related behaviors for it members, it is therefore pertinent to identify it roles in HIV/AIDS prevention intervention among youths in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area, hence this research.

1.3 Aim and Objective of the Study
The broad objective of the study is to examine the roles of the family in prevention and control of HIV/AIDS among youths in MkpatEnin Local Government Area.
The Specific Objectives are:
To determine the level of knowledge of parent about HIV/AIDS
To determine the educational status of the parent in relation to HIV/AIDS prevention and control.
To determine the socio-economic condition of the parent in relation to HIV/AIDS prevention and control.
1.4 Research Question:

What is the level of knowledge of the parent about HIV/AIDS prevention and control in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area?

What is the educational status of the parent in relation to HIV/AIDS prevention and control in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area?

What is the socio-economic condition of the parent in relation to HIV/AIDS prevention and control?
1.5 Significance of the Study:
The study derives its relevance from the fact that when completed, it will increase the knowledge and understanding of the influence of the family in preventing HIV/AIDS among youths in Mkpat Enin Local Government Area. Findings could also enable relevant authorities to act appropriately in enlightening the public on the important roles of the family in curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS menace.

1.6 Definition of Terms:
AIDS—Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome
ART—Antiretroviral Therapy
CDC—Centers for Disease Control
Family—A group of people who are closely related to one another (by blood, marriage or occupation)
HIV—Human Immunodeficiency Virus
Risky Behavior—Those acts that are engaged in by individual that could encourage the contacting and spread of HIV.
Youth—A young person between 15—26 years of age.

HIV/AIDS PREVENTION AND THE ROLE OF THE FAMILY AMONG YOUTHS IN MKPAT ENIN LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA