Psychosocial Aspects of HIV/AIDS Management
After the initial shock and confusion, characterized by official and public denials of HIV infection, Nigeria responded with epidemiological surveys. National AIDS campaign programmes were initiated to increase awareness using print and electronic media, brochures, and posters. It is doubtful whether these have led to wide-spread moves towards lower risk sexual behaviours. More cases of the full-blown disease are now being seen daily in Nigerian hospitals. The paper reviews examples of cases treated at the OAUTHC and highlights the need to place emphasis on the psychosocial aspects of the disease. Interaction with patients reveals that many cannot afford the high cost of available drugs. A large percentage is lost at follow-up. Many psychosocial stresses related to daily living, family and adjustment to the disease need to be consciously addressed in management. It is imperative to ensure provision of adequate psychosocial support services which in tender with education and research, can moderate the adverse medical and psychological effects of this terminal illness.