This study assessed socio-economic factors that could influence one’s attitude towards people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) in two local government areas of Lagos state: Lagos Mainland, an urban setting, and Epe, a rural community. Multistage and systematic sampling techniques were used in 40 enumeration areas (25 in Lagos Mainland and 15 in Epe) to obtain a sample of 1,611 respondents. Data were collected from September 2005 to April 2006 through interviews and focus group discussions. Hypotheses were tested by Chi-square and multiple logistic regression analyses. The results indicated a high level of awareness of HIV/AIDS. However, cultural interpretations of HIV/AIDS depicted gross misperceptions and myths about HIV/AIDS and its aetiology. These were conducive to discrimination. Many respondents would not be willing to marry PLWHA or share cutlery, toilets or rooms with them. The respondents would also not patronize PLWHA traders nor vote for them. They would alienate perceived PLWHA colleagues, withdraw their children from schools known to have students with HIV/AIDS and would forbid their children’s association with such PLWHA. The study also showed that level of education, income of the respondents and knowledge of sexual mode of HIV transmission had an inverse relationship with discriminatory attitudes. Women and Epe LGA respondents were more likely than men and Lagos Mainland LGA respondents to exhibit discriminatory attitudes respectively.
|Keywords:||Discrimination, HIV/AIDS, Lagos, PLWHA, Socio-economic Status|
Lecturer I, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lagos, Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
Professor, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Lagos, Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
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