Knowledge and attitudes regarding HIV/AIDS and antiretroviral therapy among patients at a Nigerian treatment clinic

  • Olowookere S
  • Fatiregun A
  • Adewole I
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Abstract

Introduction:  We assessed the knowledge of and attitudes toward HIV/AIDS and antiretroviral therapy (ART) in people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). Methodology: A descriptive, cross-sectional study design was employed. A structured interviewer-administered questionnaire was administered to consecutive, consenting PLWHA who had been receiving treatment for a minimum of three months. The level of ART adherence was calculated manually for each respondent. Results: In total 318 PLWHA completed the questionnaire. The mean and median time on ART was 17.8 months and 19 months respectively. The mean age of the respondents was 39.1±9.6 years. The majority of these respondents (76.9%) had completed secondary education. Over 80% of the respondents reported knowing that HIV can be transmitted through blood transfusions and unprotected sexual intercourse. Seventy-six per cent of the respondents reported knowing that ART suppresses HIV activity. However, 33% of the respondents denied being HIV positive, while 22.6% reported that they felt that taking ART was shameful. Over 32% of the respondents reported that good adherence to ART would raise suspicions about their HIV status, and 66.7% had not yet disclosed their HIV status to anyone. Most (77.7%) respondents had good knowledge of HIV/AIDS while 75.2% had good knowledge of ART. Also 78.9% had positive attitude to HIV/AIDS while 73.9%) had positive attitude to ART. Respondents with good knowledge about HIV/AIDS and a positive attitude about the disease tended to be more adherent to ART (p < 0.01). Conclusions: The majority of respondents had good knowledge of and a positive attitude toward HIV/AIDS and ART adherence.

Author-supplied keywords

  • ART adherence knowledge
  • Attitude towards HIV/AIDS
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Knowledge of ART

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