INFLUENCE OF AKBC RADIO PROGRAMME KNOW YOUR STATUS ON AKWA IBOM STATE POLYTECHNIC STUDENTS, IKOT OSURUA
- Background of the Study
Throughout history, human beings have been faced with disastrous catastrophes which must be endured in order to survive. Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) caused by Human Immune deficiency Virus (HIV) remains one of the most incomprehensible disasters for humanity.
Since the first case of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) was recognized in 1981 in the United States of America, its impact has been felt most severely on the economics of the developing world. Given that AIDS kill mostly people between 15 – 49 years of age, it is therefore, uniquely devastating in terms of increasing poverty and reversing human development achievements (UNDP 2001, p.26)
An estimated number of people living with HIV stood at over 33.3 million at the end of year 2007) of this figure, 22.2 million are from sub-Swaran Africa, the region with most affected victims in the global AIDS epidemic. More than three quarters (76%) of all AIDS deaths in 2007 came from Africa, with another 1.7 million cases of newly infected people. (UNAIDS/WHO, 2008), p.34).
The last two decades have witnessed quantum of research work on issue on HIV/AIDS. Scientific literature is full of material with diverse research interest. In the early years of the detection of the disease, some scientists focused on laboratory studies, examining the causative pathogens and conditions associated with human pathological transmission and various sources of agents and routes responsible for the transmission. A significant proportion of researchers have worked on possible solution to the infections disease, addressing the possibility of developing a vaccine that can be used for inoculation or drug to cure already infected individuals. This has met with little success. Researchers in the social sciences have concentrated on the implications of the disease on the society. Particular emphasis has been on the behavioural adjuncts associated with the disease. Prominent in this endeavour is the examination of lifestyle of the so called “risk groups” and other behavioural factors predisposing individuals to contracting the disease. Men having sex with men (MSM), prostitutes, commercial sex workers, (CSN) and intravenous drug users (IDUS) were the first budget risk group identified for HIV/AIDS. Emphasis has gradually been shifted to the populace at large, having noted that it is not individuals labeled as “at risk” but one’s lifestyle constitute a major determinant factor in HIV/AIDS prevention.
Generally, it is believed that the media is a powerful and influential means of educating the public on many topics and issues, especially, AIDS, it is the most common source of information for youths, because of its accessibility and low costs. HIV/AIDS information from radio and television in form of advertisement, news, and live shows constitutes the major ways through which adolescents gain HIV information. In developing countries, radio and to extent, televisions are the most effective tools of communication since they cut across literacy boundaries. According to Kuponiyi (2000, p.23), radio is one broadcast medium that almost all experts agree is the most appropriate for rural and urban emancipation programme. Radio beats distance and thus have immediate effect. Radio is also cheap to obtain battery – operated transistorized sets (Moemoku, 1993: p.34).
Many research findings are continually been published in this direction, with the hope that a successful prevention program will checkmate the populace against indiscriminate sexual behaviour, adopt safe sex practices and internalize AIDS risk reduction behavours. In order to achieve this goal, government of various nations and other stakeholders which include international bodies and donor agencies have supported and implemented a number of enlightenment progrmmes world wide. In Nigeria, there are weekly radio programmes designed to disseminate family planning, HIV/AIDS, and other reproductive health information sponsored by the vision project (Kealing, 2006, p78) “know your status” programme formally state Radio Broadcasting Station (AKBC Radio) produced and anchored by Edemawan Udo is one of such programmes that is geared towards educating the populace about the menace of HIV/AIDS and alternate consequences associated with unprotected sex in Akwa Ibom State.