Misconceptions about transmission, symptoms and prevention of HIV/AIDS among adolescents in Ebonyi state, South-east Nigeria

ResearchSquare
Ifunanya Clara AguObinna Onwujekwe

Abstract

Objectives: Nigeria has the second largest number of adolescents and young people living with HIV/AIDS in the world. Misconceptions about HIV/AIDS contribute to spread of HIV, and constrain uptake of preventive services. This paper explored misconceptions about HIV/AIDS among adolescents in south-east Nigeria. A qualitative study was conducted in six urban and rural local government areas of Ebonyi state. Data were collected through twelve focus group discussions (FGD) with unmarried adolescents aged 13-18 who were either attending school or out-of-school. The FGDs were conducted using a pre-tested topic guide. Data were coded manually and analyzed using a thematic framework approach.Results: There are persistent misconceptions about transmission of HIV/AIDS through mosquito bites and sharing of personal belongings. Some adolescents had inaccurate notions that a HIV infected person could be identified through changes in physical features such as abdominal swelling and longer fingernails. A few of them also reported that HIV could be treated with antibiotics. These misconceptions were expressed by both male and female adolescents. Adolescents have some mistaken beliefs about HIV/AIDS which constrain them from taking necessary pr...Continue Reading

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