The Role of Parents in the Prevention of Hiv/Aids among Secondary School Students in Ijebuode Ogun State, Nigeria

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Abstract

The study was an assessment of the role of parents in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS among adolescents in Nigeria. The study was conducted among students of selected secondary schools in Ijebu-Ode Nigeria. Two Hundred and Thirty (230) students were randomly selected as sample for the study. The instrument consisted of a set of questionnaire covering the areas of investigation. The data collected were analysed with simple percentage and chi-square statistical tool. The results showed that parents' role in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS among students included teaching of sex education and the dangers of sexually - transmitted diseases especially HIV/AIDS to students; discouraging them from having multiple sexual partners and encouraging them to visit counselling centres. It was observed that activities of parents had a significant influence on the practice of precautionary measures among the respondents. The study concluded that parents are indispensable in the prevention of HIV/AIDS among secondary school students and that effective health education is the antidote for the prevention and spread of the pandemic disease.

Key words: HIV/AIDS; Adolescents; Parents' role

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 et al, 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 Programme 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 most 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 zeroprevalence 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 et al).

One fundamental issue that remains high on international agenda is the vision of getting to zero new HTV infections, zero discrimination and zero AIDS-related deaths according to UNAID Global Report for 2012. …