n IFE PsychologIA : An International Journal - Information-seeking behaviour and sources of information for people living with HIV-AIDS : case study of a military hospital

Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1117-1421



People with chronic illness like the Human Immunodeficiency Syndrome (HIV) often seek information to understand their diagnosis, decide on treatments and predict their prognosis. The fear of discrimination and stigmatization prevents people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) from easily seeking information. Factors affecting information seeking include demography, age, "cultural" behaviors, educational background and accessibility. This study determined the information-seeking behavior of a random representative sample of HIV positive patients attending the Nigerian Navy Reference Hospital, Ojo and the hospital's support group, where consultations are of short duration. Data were collected through structured questionnaire distributed at the HIV clinic and support group meetings as well as through in-depth interview within the support-group. Most respondents were aged between 20-49 years. Television/radio and support-group are the first two preferred information media (73% and 69% respectively). 20% sought information through HIV-AIDS campaign and 11% from traditional healers. Female patients sought information more than the male patients and 65% of the female respondents sought information from support-groups. Patients with no formal education (39%) consulted the traditional healers, while those with secondary school and higher qualifications use the support-group (92%). The internet was a preferred source among those with higher education but was rated lowest overall. It was found that education, age and gender influenced information-seeking by military personnel living with HIV-AIDs.

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