Counselling Needs of HIV/AIDS-Infected Adolescents and Young Adults in South East Nigeria
This study surveyed the counselling needs of HIV/AIDS-infected adolescents and young adults. Participants were 260 service providers (health care providers and Non-Governmental Organizations), age range 25-60, mean age 46.4, SD 9.9, 130 males, 130 females from five South Eastern States of Nigeria. They responded to the HIV/AIDS-infected Adolescents and Young Adults’ Counselling Needs (HAYACN) questionnaire. Using mean and t-test, results revealed that youths living with HIV/AIDS need counselling from professional counsellors for acceptance of their condition; effective adjustment and coping; adherence to treatment regimen; enhancement of self-esteem; vocational counselling among others. Significant differences were observed between gender and type of service providers on perceived counselling needs of HIV/AIDS-infected adolescents and young adults. The conclusion is that HIV/AIDS-infected youths have unique counselling needs different from other groups. Counselling implications include preparing professional counsellors adequately and forming a synergy between professional counsellors and service providers. Prompt referral of HIV/AIDS patients to professional counsellors was recommended. Suggestions for further research were also made.
Keywords: Professional Counsellors, Service providers, counselling needs, adolescents.