Risk Perception of HIV/AIDS Infection among Elderly in Ile-Ife of Southwest Nigeria

Eboiyehi, F. A.; Taiwo, M. O.
April 2014
Indian Journal of Gerontology;2014, Vol. 28 Issue 2, p213
Academic Journal
Generally, HIV/AIDS is believed to be a 'younger person's disease' which does not affect older people. However, recent statistics have shown the rising cases of HIV infection among people aged 60 years or older. The paper investigates risk perception of HIV/AIDS infection among elderly men and women in Ile-Ife, Southwest Nigeria through of two focus group discussion sessions with male and female elderly persons. Their level of awareness and knowledge of HIV transmission, perceived vulnerability and prevention mechanisms were also explored through in-depth interviews. The findings revealed poor knowledge and awareness of HIV/AIDS infection and routes of transmission. The low awareness was associated with low socio-economic status such as low education, unskilled jobs and subsequently low income. Religious inclination also influences knowledge of HIV/AIDS. Majority of the participants do not perceive personal vulnerability to HIV/AIDS. Women in particular associated their non-vulnerability to their chaste behaviour and marital fidelity. Similarly, the males perceived HIV infection as younger people's disease particularly, among the promiscuous ones. The policy implication of the study is also discussed.


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