Assessment of the attitude of public health workers in Calabar, Cross River State of Nigeria towards people living with HIV/AIDS using the aids attitude scale
Keywords:HIV/AIDS, attitude, public health, health workers, stigmatization, discrimination, Nigeria
Context: According to the UNAIDS, Nigeria has the second heaviest burden of HIV/AIDS in Africa, with 3,459,363 people now living with the condition. Cross River State currently has HIV prevalence of 7.1%, almost double the national prevalence of 4.1%. One of the greatest challenges militating against HIV/AIDS control is stigma and discrimination. When exhibited by health care providers, stigma and discrimination can deter people living with HIV/AIDS from utilising HIV/AIDS care and services.
Objective: To assess the attitude of healthcare providers towards people living with HIV/AIDS.
Materials and methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study among 194 public health workers in Calabar, Cross River State of Nigeria, using a semi-structured questionnaire with a 15- point AIDS Attitude Scale. Data collected from the study were analyzed using SPSS Software.
Results: Majority of respondents, 58.8%, agreed that despite all they know concerning how HIV is transmitted, they are still afraid of contacting it while 61.4% indicated that HIV/AIDS has made their jobs a high risk occupation. Nearly 83% of respondents indicated that they don't find it hard to be sympathetic to HIV/AIDS patients and 66% indicated that they would not feel resentful if AIDS patients accounted for a significant part of their caseload.
Conclusion: There was evidence of stigmatizing and discriminatory attitude among the respondents that need to be addressed. There is need for further attitudinal orientation and re-orientation and health education of health-workers so as to remove any vestiges of stigmatizing attitude and ensure quality health care for PLWHAs.
Copyright (c) 2016 Etokidem AJ, Oparah S, Asibong U, Ndifon W, Nsan E
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