Knowledge, attitude and practice of Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) to HIV among doctors in a Nigerian Tertiary Health Institution
Introduction: The HIV/AIDS pandemic still ranks one of the foremost causes of death in developing world. The present prevalence of HIV/AIDS is 5.0% for Sub-Saharan Africa and the Nigerian figure is 3.01%. The rate of infection of a previously non-infected individual in this sub-region is set at 160,000 individuals daily. With such a high prevalence, it of importance that caregivers and particularly medical doctors arm themselves with sufficient knowledge of postexposure prophylaxis.
Design: Cross sectional descriptive study.
Participants: The study took place among 81 doctors in a tertiary health institute in Nigeria, the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital.
Methodology: A semi-structured questionnaire was administered to the subjects using a random sampling method. These questionnaires highlighted their departments, ages and ranks. Their levels of knowledge and indications for PEP as well as their attitudes to this procedure using a modification of the Likert Attitude Scale were also assessed. There were 15 attitude parameters and each attracted a maximum score of 5 points with a total of 75 points. Respondents were scored and the attitude scores were graded thus; negative attitude - <35 points; bare positive – 36 – 50 points; positive – 51 – 65 points; super-positive - >65 points. The subjects were also given an opportunity to suggest ways of improving on the practice of PEP in their various practices.
Results: This showed that the knowledge of PEP was satisfactory, however only about half of the respondents mentioned specific indications for PEP. The doctors’ source of information about PEP was also too medically oriented and not broadminded enough for his position as the decision maker / head of the medical team. Respondents attitude towards PEP was positive and very important suggestions were made for better implementation of PEP.
Conclusion: The knowledge of PEP is satisfactory in UCTH, Calabar and issues that need to be addressed in our practice border on of information dissemination and measures aimed at increasing the awareness of PEP in our society.
KEYWORDS: Knowledge, Attitude, Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Knowledge, Attitude and Practice of post-exposure prophylaxis to HIV