Effects of logotherapy and reassurance on adjustment of hiv positive youths to stigmatization.

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The study was designed to determine the effects of logotherapy and reassurance counselling on HIV positive youths in Enugu State.

The study was guided by three research questions and three hypotheses tested at 0.05 level of significance. A true experimental design was adopted for the study. A total of 32 HIV positive youths were used for the study. The instrument for data collection was a 22 item questionnaire which was titled Adjustment scale instrument for HIV positive youths (ASIHPY). The instrument was validated by three experts, all from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The reliability of the instrument was determined using Cronbach Alpha statistics which yielded an estimated value of 0.83.

The HIV positive youths in the three experimental groups were pretested with ASIHPY before receiving appropriate treatments on logotherapy and reassurance counselling. After the treatments, ASIHPY was readministered on both groups as post test. Mean and standard deviation were used to answer the four research questions while Analysis of Covariance,
(ANCOVA) was used to test the three hypotheses posed.

It was found that: the two treatment groups had better adjustment as shown by their pretest posttest mean differences. Also, gender had a significant influence on the HIV positive youths. It was recommended that guidance counsellors, educational psychologists should plan a programme of intervention based on the principles for HIV positive youths adjustment; and the federal and state ministries of Education should organize and sponsor workshops and seminars for educational psychologists and school guidance counsellors on how to implement logotherapy and reassurance counselling techniques.

Background of the Study
Human Imuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) is a viral infection that has the
effects of destroying the body’s immune system, a situation called “Acquired
Immuno-deficiency Syndrome” (AIDS). AIDS is a fatal disease in which the
human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) gradually destroys the ability of the
immune system to fight off a wide range of infectious agents (National Action
Committee on AIDS-NACA, 2007).

Researches on AIDS had shown that HIV is transmitted through blood contact, sexual intercourse with an infected person, sharing of sharp body piercing objects, homosexual contacts and mother to child transmission during pregnancy, labour and breast feeding (NACA, 2007). The mode of transmission of HIV makes it very vulnerable to be transmitted from one person to another (NACA, 2007).

Since the first case of HIV was reported in 1981, millions of people had died globally from the infection. For instance, in 2008 the estimated number of people living with HIV in Nigeria was projected at 2.95 million while the cumulative AIDS death was estimated at 280,000 people annually, (National HIV Sero-prevalence Sentinel Survey: Preliminary findings, 2008) The pandemic of HIV and AIDS has spread to all regions of the globe and infected over forty million people worldwide that are currently living with this fatal disease (UNAIDS, 2002). In Enugu state where the researcher carried out the research, the prevalence of HIV and AIDS was put at 5.8% in 2008 (NACA, 2008).

This high rate could be connected with high poverty level which leads to high rural-urban migration among the youths. The youths move from the villages to the major cities such as Enugu, Ninth Mile and Nsukka in search of white collar jobs. Most of these migrating youths end up doing menial jobs such as sales girls and street hawking, leaving them with meager salary/wages that cannot take care of their basic needs. They end up in cohabitation with opposite sex and prostitution, a behaviour known to be risky and to encourage transmission of the virus.

Tragically, the people infected with HIV and AIDS are not the only ones
whose lives are forever altered by this debilitating virus; family members,
neighbours and friends of HIV and AIDS victims are also strongly connected to the individuals struggling to manage the virus on a day to day basis.

Although, those infected are fighting this disease through taking the prescribe drugs and doing everything they can to overcome the illness, there are still powerful issues like social stigma and economic devastation as a result of treatment that makes the psychological, emotional and social implications of living with HIV and AIDS almost as difficult as the medical battle. Due to these issues and life threatening nature of the disease, certain negative and behavioural changes are associated with people living with HIV and AIDS and if not checked through appropriate intervention programs could pose a greater risk to the life of the patient.

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