Beliefs and perceptions about Acquired Immunodeficieny Syndrome (AIDS) of a Nigerian rural community: Implication for prevention and policy initiative

G T Jombo, D Z Egah, J T Akosu, E W Mbaawuaga



Acquired Immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) has assumed a disease of epidemic dimension both in Nigeria’s rural and urban communities. Different people have varying knowledge and beliefs about this disease. This study was designed to assess the beliefs and perceptions of the people of Ihugh community in that regard.
A structured questionnaire was interviewer administered to assess their beliefs and perceptions about AIDS, results were analyzed by simple descriptive methods.
Of the 500 respondents, 65%(n=325) believed that AIDS is found only in cities while 69.7%(n=345) were of the opinion that AIDS can be cured by traditional means. Sixty five percent (n=326) believed that some people are destined for AIDS while 75.8%(n=482) were of the opinion that AIDS can be acquired through witches and wizards; 71.1%(n=488) believed AIDS can be acquired through curses. A large number of the respondents (63.0%) claimed they did not know where to go for routine HIV screening.
Conclusion: Health education program should be designed for the people of Ihugh community in the context of their peculiarities. This should include town cry, health talk at their worship centres and local gatherings. The electronic and print media are not the best based on their peculiarities.

Keywords: Beliefs; Perceptions; Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome.

African Journal of Clinical and Experimental Microbiology Vol. 8 (1) 2007: pp. 40-48