Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Denial of AIDS puts sailors and partners at risk

21.06.2004


"AIDS is now the leading cause of death in military and police forces in some African countries, accounting for more than half of in-service mortality," write Ugboga Nwokoji and Ademola Ajuwon in the Open Access journal BMC Public Health today. They believe that secrecy about AIDS-related deaths, and multiple sex partnering in the Nigerian navy could be helping to fuel the HIV epidemic in Nigeria, Africa’s most populated country.

Their survey of 480 Nigerian naval personnel revealed that the naval authorities are secretive about AIDS-related deaths. One naval officer insisted, "although we often hear that an officer has died of malaria or of tuberculosis, we never hear about a death from AIDS."

"Until AIDS-related deaths are discussed openly, naval personnel will continue to deny the existence of the virus and participate in risky behaviours," say the researchers, from the Nigerian Red Cross Society and the University of Ibadan. They are now calling for a targeted educational program to expose the risks that sailors face from indulging in unsafe sex.



Around a third of the sailors questioned had had sex with a female sex worker, and 41% of these had not used a condom on their last visit. Shockingly, those that were married were around four times less likely to use a condom than those that were single.

As these sailors live with and interact freely with civilians they are a potential bridging group for disseminating HIV into the larger population. The researchers believe that initiatives to prevent this high-risk population from contracting HIV are one of the most realistic ways of controlling further spread of the disease across Nigeria.

"The military authorities need to promote use of condoms more vigorously", say Nwokoji and Ajuwon. Condoms should be available to all who need them. One officer claimed that, "the naval tradition is that if you are going ashore, you are issued condoms and there is no ration about this, however, due to funding constraints this is no longer practiced."

The authors report that the HIV epidemic is continuing to grow in Nigeria, despite efforts to control it. An estimated 5.8% of adults, or 3.5 million people, are now infected in the country. According to Nwokoji and Ajuwon, "these figures probably underestimate the real magnitude of the epidemic, because of missed diagnosis and inadequate resources for testing."

Overall the knowledge of AIDS amongst the survey respondents was good, with the sailors scoring an average of 7 out of 10 on a test about AIDS and HIV. The majority knew that HIV could be transmitted through sexual intercourse, though this hadn’t stopped them from practicing unsafe sex.

This behaviour could be explained by the fact that many sailors thought that traditional medicines could protect them from HIV infection, and over half of those questioned (52.1%) believed that a cure for AIDS was available in Nigeria.

The authors suspect that, "this misconception may have been fostered because of the tacit support the local media gave to a Nigerian surgeon who claimed to have found a cure for AIDS, but would not subject his medication to scientific scrutiny."

Gemma Bradley | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.biomedcentral.com

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change
17.11.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

From Hannover around the world and to the Mars: LZH delivers laser for ExoMars 2020

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Borophene shines alone as 2-D plasmonic material

21.11.2017 | Materials Sciences

Penn study identifies new malaria parasites in wild bonobos

21.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>