HIV/AIDS among Adolescents with Hearing Impairment in Nigeria: Issues, Challenges and Strategies for Prevention in Achieving Millennium Development Goals
HIV/AIDS epidemic is the most serious threat to health globally, with developing countries accounting for 95% of new cases. The impact of HIV/AIDS on health, especially the rate at which the disease might be spreading among adolescents with hearing impairment in Nigeria, is globally a serious concern, particularly in relation to Millennium Development Goals. This paper, therefore, highlighted some issues that make the prevention of HIV/AIDS to be elusive; such as prejudice against individuals with hearing impairment, lack of adequate data, exclusion from programmes that talk about sexuality, cultural beliefs, poor knowledge and attitude of adolescents with hearing impairment to some risk factors. It also discussed some challenges of having HIV/AIDS-free adolescents with hearing impairment, which include low literacy level, cycle of poverty among people with hearing impairment, cultural issues and beliefs, and lack of adequate health care facilities. To stem the tide of the spread of HIV/AIDS among adolescents with hearing impairment in Nigeria, this paper suggested some strategies, such as participatory approaches, deaf-friendly
HIV/AIDS testing, counselling, care and treatment services, and full inclusion into programmes involving health and life-threatening issues. With these, it is believed that the challenges of HIV/AIDS among adolescents with hearing impairment will be mitigated.
Key words: HIV/AIDS, Adolescents, Hearing impairment, Millennium development goals
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