HIV/AIDS in Oyo State, Nigeria: analysis of spatial pattern of prevalence and policy implication for government
Understanding the geographical distribution of a disease is critical to policy makers’ decision in deploying government resources to confronting such disease either with a view to totally eradicating it or at least control its spread. Since HIV/AIDS was first recognized in 1981 in New York, a number of factors, habits and practices have contributed to its widespread. Today, HIV/AIDS disease including its consequences and burden is not geographically evenly distributed on earth. Today, the spatial distribution of victims in the world is higher in Africa, and even in Africa, southern Africa. In Nigeria, the current prevalent rate shows that it is higher in River state. A number of factors are responsible for the spatial variability. This study explored the spatial variability or spatial pattern of prevalence in Oyo state, Nigeria. The five zones constitute the component part of Oyo state in the western part of Nigeria. The findings following the research establish that the spatial distribution of the HIV/AIDS is highest in Saki zone with 22 per cent and lowest in Oyo zone with 18.5 per cent of respondents. Others are Ogbomoso 21.5 per cent, Ibarapa 19.0 per cent and Ibadan 19.0 per cent of respondents with the disease. Cultural practices like female circumcision, medicinal bloodletting, rituals involving bloodletting, oath taking involving blood, ritual scarification, and the use of local sharp objects for herbal injection into the body, group circumcision and traditional practices relating to shaving body hairs using of local sharp object including cultural factor of promiscuity contribute to HIV/AIDS prevalence. This is in addition to Promiscuity and multiple sexual partner practices which spread the pandemic. The study however defined policy direction for government by churning out a number of recommendations which can help control the spread of the pandemic and care for the victims in the study area.
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Spatial Pattern, Prevalence, Policy Implications