ATTITUDE AND PRACTICE OF HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS, REGARDING HIV AND AIDS IN ABIA STATE HOSPITALS
The study was to determine the attitude and practice of Health Care Professionals (HCPs) regarding HIV and AIDS in Abia State Hospitals. To achieve the purpose of the study, ten objectives with corresponding research questions were posed and four hypotheses postulated. The survey research design was used for the study. The instrument for data collection was a 42-item questionnaire (APRHAQ) and focus group discussion guide (FGDG). Five experts in Health and Physical Education, Nursing Sciences and Science Education validated the instrument. Cronbach Alpha was used for test of reliability. The population for the study consisted of 530 Health Care Professional in Abia State University Teaching Hospital (ABSUTH); out of which the responses of 510 (98%) were used for the analysis of data. Percentages and mean scores were used to answer research questions, while t-test, ANOVA and Chi-square statistics were used for testing of the null hypotheses. The result of the study showed that the Health Care Professionals admitted that HIV is the causative agent of AIDS. The items 9 and 10 were accepted as the mode of transmission of HIV. In the preventive measures of HIV and AIDS, items 14 and 15 were accepted as method of prevention of HIV. The Health Care Professionals adopted the entire items regarding HIV and AIDS treatment except, item 19. In the attitude towards people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) Health Care Professionals accepted items 22, 26 and 29 as positive attitude towards PLWHA. Male and females adopted items 1, 9, 10, 14, 15, 18, 20 – 22, 26 and 29 (see table 6) regarding HIV and AIDS. The three categories demonstrated the same attitude (1,9, 10, 14, 15,18, 20-22, 26 and 29) (see table 7) regarding HIV and AIDS. Majority of Health Care Professionals adhered to universal precautions. Majority of males and females adhered to universal precautions although males adhered more than that of females. Majority of doctors, nurses and MLS adhered to universal precautions although MLS adhered more than nurses and doctors. There was no significant difference in the attitude of male and females HCPs regarding causative agent of AIDS, mode of transmission, preventive measures, treatment of HIV and AIDS and attitude towards PLWHA. While there were significant differences in the attitude of the different categories of HCPs regarding HIV and AIDS in the different attitudinal components; the practice of adherence to universal precautions by male and female HCPs and the practice of adherence by different categories of HCPs regarding HIV and AIDS. Based on major findings and conclusions and since the HCPs varied in their practice in adherence to universal precautions, there is need to organized regular seminars and workshops for all categories of HCPs to bridge the existing gaps. The management should sponsor them for more training, workshops and conferences on AIDS educational programmes. This will enhance their performance in their practice to adherence to universal precautions by the HCPs in Abia State University Teaching Hospital Aba.