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 Great Unknown: Risk-Taking Behavior in Adolescents
19.01.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht A sudden drop in outdoor temperature increases the risk of respiratory infections
11.01.2017 | University of Gothenburg

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: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>