Libraries at University of Nebraska-Lincoln

 

Date of this Version

2-2012

Citation

Library Philosophy and Practice 2012

Abstract

HIV/AIDS awareness initiative is a collective responsibility that is not limited to the health sector only but to all and sundry. It could be termed " a global crisis " with victims all around the entire globe. Inadequate information regarding the spread of this global disease could pose a devastating effect on economic growth and social sustainability of the entire world. Therefore, creativity, synergy and collaboration from all sectors of society are required to finding solution to mitigate and curb the widespread. According to UNAIDS (2008) HIV/AIDS is among the greatest challenges to sustainable economic, social and civil society development today; it is a global crisis that undermines all aspects and all sectors of our entire society. No region of the world has been spared; the epidemic remains extremely dynamic, growing and changing characters as the virus exploits new opportunities for transmission. Hence, an effective response demands committed, urgent and sustained action by alliances of individuals, nongovernmental and governmental organizations. Furthermore, an epidemic as complex and as destructive as HIV/AIDS requires innovative and global sensitization.

Literature Review

Since the discovery of Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) as the causative organism of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) in 1983, the infection has attained epidemic proportion globally. HIV/AIDS is an extraordinary kind of crisis; it is both an emergency and a long-term development issue. Tumer and Unal (2000) assert that (HIV/AIDS) is one of the most complex health problems of the 21st century. Despite increased funding, political commitments and progress in expanding access to HIV treatment, the AIDS epidemic continues to outpace every global response.

Today the AIDS epidemic has become a pandemic disease that is threatening the world population. As the HIV/AIDS pandemic continues to spread around the world at an alarming rate, the number of people with this disease is been expected to grow significantly by the end of this decade (ICI 2002). Moreover according to UNAIDS (2006); an estimated 24.7million people are living with HIV/AIDS in sub Saharan Africa. Meyer (2003) claims that HIV/AIDS which is acclaimed the fourth- leading cause of death worldwide is estimated to have claimed 25million lives since the beginning of the epidemic.

Acquired immune Deficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a viral disease caused by human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that is usually found in body fluids like blood, semen, vagina fluid, and breast milk of infected persons. The virus can be transferred from one infected person to another, mostly through sexual intercourse and sharing of unsterilised instruments like blades, knives, and syringes which had once been used by infected persons. (Olaleye 2003)

AIDS has rendered many children orphans, many of which were born with HIV infection. AIDS is killing the most productive people in the population, widening the level of development between developed and developing nations. It is also taking toll on the health sector since a lot of fund is channeled towards HIV/AIDS prevention and control. It has been observed that despite the many programmes organized to inform people about the problem of HIV/AIDS, the rate of it infection continues to be on the increase. (Omoniyi and Tayo-Olajubu 2006)

However, Cichocki (2010) Insists that, HIV testing is the first step to take when trying to find out a person's status. Never should one rely on symptoms of HIV to decide whether one is infected. HIV testing is the only way to know for sure. The importance of early diagnosis of HIV cannot be overstated. Decades of HIV and AIDS researches have proven that the earlier HIV is diagnosed, the better the prognosis and the likelihood of a long and healthy life. Meanwhile, certain risk behaviors have been associated with high HIV infection rate. These behaviors according to Anochie and Eneh (2001) are either life style related or health-care provider risk. The life style related risk behaviors include multiple sexual partners, prostitution, sex with prostitute or casual partners, unprotected sex, intravenous, drug abuse and commercial blood donation among others.

Moreover, various campaigns have been mounted by both governmental and non governmental association (NGOs) to curtail the spread of HIV/AIDS. Olaleye (2003) posits that these campaigns focused on measures to prevent HIV/AIDS infection. The measures include total abstainess from sex, use of condom to avoid infections from unprotected sexual intercourse, screening of blood meant for transfusion, keeping to one sexual partner, use of sterilized sharp object like blades, knives, needles / syringe, shaving and barbing instruments, Intending couples are also advised to do HIV/AIDS test before being joined in marriage.

Omoniyi and Tayo-Olajubu (2006) submit that People diagnosed with AIDS may get life-threatening diseases called opportunistic infection which are caused by microbes such as viruses and bacterial that usually does not make healthy people sick. However, What the HIV does is to gradually damage the immune system so that an infected person would be vulnerable to all sorts of diseases and illnesses, which may eventually lead to the total collapse of the immune system. It is at this point a person is said to be suffering from AIDS.