1.1 Background to the Study
The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) was unknown until the early 1980s, but since that time it has infected millions of persons in a worldwide pandemic (Edward, 2006). The result of HIV infection is relentless destruction of the immune system leading to onset of the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). The AIDS epidemic has already resulted in the deaths of over half of its victims. All HIV-infected persons are at risk of illness and death from opportunistic infections and neoplastic complications as a consequence of the inevitable manifestations of AIDS (Moss, & Bacchetti, 1989).
HIV/AIDS is a global crises, a challenge to human life and dignity with ability to erode social and economic development. It has great influence on stability, life expectancy and economic development. It is a major public health problem with sub-Sahara Africa severely affected by the epidemic (Lancet, 2002).
World Health Organizations (WHO) interventions for prevention focused on key areas such as counseling and testing as the entry point to treatment, prevention and comprehensive programs to prevent HIV/AIDS infection among infants, women and young people. Only 5 percent of people with HIV/AIDS are estimated to be aware of their
status worldwide (WHO, 2004). The scope of the AIDS pandemic has already led to
serious consequences, not only for health care systems of countries that are unable to cope with many AIDS victims, but also for the national economies of those countries because of the loss of young to middle aged who are economically most productive. At
the beginning of the 21st century, 95 percent of new HIV
infections and deaths occurred in developing nations, and two-third of persons
living with HIV infection reside in Sub-1
Sahara Africa. The age groups most affected are young persons from 15 to 24years of age, accounted for 40 percent of new HIV infection (Merson, 2006). Worldwide, over half the victims of AIDS are women and the consequence of this is perinatal infection resulting in a significant number of children born with HIV infection (Lancet, 1996). Nigeria recorded the first case of AIDS in 1986 (FMH, 2005).
KNOWLEDGE AND UTILIZATION OF VOLUNTARY COUNSELING AND TESTING SERVICES ON PREVENTION OF HIV/AIDS AMONG STUDENTS OF TERTIARY INSTITUTIONS IN BAUCHI STATE, NIGERIA