The Knowledge and Risk Behaviours of Nigerian Schizophrenics About HIV/AIDS

  • O O Ogunsemi
  • R A Lawal
  • G T Okulate
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Knowledge, Nigeria, Risk behaviour, Schizophrenia


This study examined the HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitude and risk behaviours of schizophrenic patients in a Nigerian Psychiatric Hospital. A modified version of the instrument used for National HIV/AIDS and Reproductive Health Survey (NARHS) in Nigeria was used to assess HIV/AIDS knowledge, attitude and risk behaviour of 98 consenting schizophrenic patients who reported at the outpatient clinic of the hospital. The mean age of the respondents was 34.46 ± 7.70 years. Forty six (46.9%) of the respondents were unemployed and only 17 (17.3%) were married. The mean duration of schizophrenic illness in the respondents was 8.81 ± 6.44 years. Eighty two (83.7%) of them were sexually active. Compared to their male counterparts, the female respondents were more sexually active (p = 0.027). Twelve (34.3%) of the sexually active had unprotected sex with sexual partners they were not married to during their last sexual act. Majority ( 95.9%) of the respondents were aware of HIV/AIDS. Their main sources of information about HIV/AIDS were television (79.8%) and radio (63.8%). They showed poor tolerance and acceptance toward people living with HIV/AIDS. More than 60% of the respondents would rather maintain secrecy if any member of their family is infected with HIV. Only 21.3% and 6.4% of the subjects respectively responded correctly to all the UNAIDS indicators for knowledge of HIV prevention methods and knowledge about HIV/AIDS transmission. This study indicated poor understanding of HIV transmission and prevention in schizophrenic patients. Thus, it strengthens the need for schizophrenic patients to receive extensive education/counseling about HIV infections.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, Knowledge, Nigeria, Risk behaviour, Schizophrenia

The Nigerian Medical Practitioner Vol. 52 (4) 2007: pp. 85-90

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 0189-0964