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1.1            Background Of The Study

HIV/AIDS continues to destroy individuals and communities within Africa, there is a need to explore form of awareness and information dissemination remains necessary. In Nigeria, for instance, two out of three pupils in primary 6 do not have the minimum knowledge about HIV/AIDS, which is necessary for them to protect their health. According to Mabel (2013), several attempts has been made in the past to increase awareness through the use of posters, handbills, book publishing on the subject and mass media campaigns but to no avail.

Aids simply mean acquired immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome caused by a virus called HIV (Human Immunodeficiency virus). The illness act on the immune system, making people much more vulnerable to infections and diseases. This susceptibility worsens as the syndrome progresses. HIV is found in the body fluids of an infected person (semen and vaginal fluids, blood and breast milk). The virus is passed from one person to another through blood to blood and sexual contact. In addition, infected pregnant women can pass HIV to their babies during pregnancy, delivery the baby during childbirth and through breast feeding. HIV can be transmitted in many ways such as vagina, oral sex, anal sex, blood transfusion and contaminated hypodermic needles. Both the virus and the syndrome are often referred together as HIV/AIDS people with HIV have what is called HIV infection. (Mabel, 2013). As a result, some will then develop Aids. The development of numerous opportunistic infections in an Aids patient can illimitably lead to death.

In 1983 when the French and American scientists drew attention to a virus that later became known as human immunodeficiency virus, only the restricted circle of scientifically minded people would have been attracted. The virus was later recognized as the causative agent of a disease known as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome hence the diction HIV/AIDS.

In recent times, however, sero-prevalence of HIV/AIDS cases has become known not only to the specialists but also to the substantial part of the world population in both rural and urban centers though in varying degree of awareness. Researchers reveal that HIV/Aids infection ahs cut across all spectra of the society (Akamu 1998). All segment of the society, low middle and upper classes are infected including citizens of the technological advanced nations as well as those of the under developed nations (Nigeria HIV, 2006).

In 1995 United States public health service (USPHS) recommendation regarding HIV testing for pregnant women was revised in 2003 calling for routine HIV testing for pregnant women with patient notification. Routine test offers women the opportunity to decline HIV testing but dominates the requirement of pretest counseling and separate written consent.

According to World Health Organization report (2014), it was estimated that there were 3,391,600 adults living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria, 1,900,000 of these are women and children of 0-15 years are 290,000. It was also estimated that in the year 2014, 174,300 adults and children died of AIDS and also the estimated number of current living orphans that is children who were alive and under age 17 at the end of year 2014 are 1,800,000 (WHO report, 2014). Also according to World health organization UNSAID and Nigeria ministry of health, statistics of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria released update January 2006, states that 6.1 million people are living with HIV/AIDS (Nigeria HIV, 2006)

As of 2014 in Nigeria, the HIV prevalence rate among adult ages 15-49 was 3.17 percent. Nigeria has the second largest number of people living with HIV. The HIV epidemic in Nigeria is complex and varies widely by region. In some states, the epidemic is more concentrated and derived by high risk behaviours while others states have more generalized epidemics that are sustained primarily by multiple sexual partnerships in the general population. Youths and young adults in Nigeria are particularly vulnerable to HIV, with young women at higher risk than young men. There are many risk factors that contribute to the spread of HIV including prostitution, high risk practices among itinerant workers, high prevalence of sexually transmitted infection (STI) clandestine high risk heterosexual and homosexual practices, international trafficking of women and irregular blood screening (Nigeria HIV, 2014).

The HIV/AIDS epidemic has reached a dimension that call for collaborative effort of multidisciplinary expertise for there are indicators to the effect that physicians have a look beyond the limit of reported cases in the hospital. It is noted worthy that the sources transmission of this epidemic are easily identifiable. One of these is through placenta for the unborn babies as well as during birth. Integrated regional information network (IRIN, 2006).

In order to prevent the unborn generation from the misfortune, pregnant women are advised to undergo HIV/AIDS screaming before delivery. This is done sequel to thorough art professional counseling. The main objectives to derive a highly sophisticated means of delivery of NH infected mothers so that the baby will not be affected. Nevertheless, antenatal Clinic of general hospital Kaduna north local government is a place where pregnant women come for antenatal clinic. The category includes non-literates and literates, poor and rich, old and young. This research study is aimed at knowing the perception of pregnant woman towards of voluntary counseling and testing for HIV/AIDS in patient of Kaduna north hospital, Kaduna state.   

1.2            Statement of the Problem

As good as the idea, voluntary counseling and testing (VCT) is, many pregnant woman are afraid of going for this voluntary test whenever they are asked to do so during antenatal clinics, those that already know their status (negative or positive) may not be afraid while those that don’t know their status may be afraid of the stigmatization, isolation and effect on marriage security which will attached to the condition, thinking of what may happen if they are tested positive, while others due to their level of knowledge do not see anything special in the test. Unborn child but most of these woman do not want to have it done not knowing how important it will be in their management. The study will assess pregnant woman’s perception toward voluntary counseling and testing for HIV/AIDS.     

1.3            Justification of the Study

The study is of immune’s importance because it is intended to contribute to the current level of perception of pregnant women towards voluntary counseling and testing for HIV/Aids.

Thus assessing the possibility of improving public health through awareness. Hence, the collection of information in orders to ascertain the level of awareness of pregnant woman as seen among pregnant woman in Kaduna North Hospital, and also improves their health status.

1.4            Broad Objectives

Perception of pregnant women towards voluntary counseling and testing of HIV/AIDS in patients of Kaduna North LGA Hospital, Kaduna state.

Specific objectives

i.             To ascertain pregnant woman level of awareness about HIV/Aids

ii.            To ascertain their perception about voluntary counseling and HIV/Aids screening

iii.          To find out factors that affect voluntary testing for HIV/Aids

iv.          To identify mean of improving non compliance with HIV/Aids voluntary testing.  

1.5            Research Questions

i.                 Are the pregnant women that come for antenatal clinic aware of HIV/AIDS?

ii.               What are the perceptions of pregnant women about voluntary counsel and screening?

iii.             What are the factors that affect voluntary testing for HIV/Aids?

iv.             What are the means of improving non compliance to voluntary testing and HIV/Aids screening?

1.6            Significance of the Study

The significance of this study is that it will point out the perception of pregnant women towards voluntary counseling and testing for HIV/AIDS which will serve as a guide for health education.

It will also recommend certain suggestion based on findings to public health public health workers or health professional working in the community on ways to improve the knowledge of pregnant women and will provide a guideline on how to health educate this pregnant women when they come for antenatal clinic.

1.7            Delimitation/Scope of the Study

This research project is limited to clients that come for antenatal clinic in Kaduna north LGA hospital of Kaduna state. This is due to time constraint and other financial cost. 

1.8            Operational Definitions 

The contextual meaning of the key word as used in the research stud is given below so as to prevent misunderstanding of concepts used in the study

i.                 AIDS – acquired immunodeficiency syndrome, a disease of multifaceted symptoms characterized with low immunity

ii.               Counseling: Information that is given to a pregnant women

iii.             HIV: Human immunodeficiency syndrome, a causative agent of AIDS

iv.             HIV/AIDS screening: A serological blood test carried out to confirm either one is living with HIV/Aids or not

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