The impact of an intervention to change health workers' HIV/AIDS attitudes and knowledge in Nigeria: A controlled trial

Enu Ezedinachi, Mw Ross, M. Meremiku, Ej Essien, Cb Edem, E. Ekure, O. Ita

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67 Scopus citations


The aim of the study was to improve health workers' skills and confidence in dealing with patients with HIV disease and increase attention to patients' human rights. A longitudinal controlled trial was carried out in which one Nigerian state served as the intervention site and the adjacent state served as the control site for an intervention and dissemination of training in clinical management, health education, and attitudinal change toward patients with HIV disease. The intervention group n = 1072, control group n = 480. Following initial questionnaire-defining focus groups, nurses, laboratory technologists and physicians in all base hospitals in the intervention state were trained by influential role models who attended the initial training. Data were collected in all sites pre-training and 1 y later. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis controlling for baseline data, and orthogonal factor analysis to define scales were used. Data showed significant positive changes after 1 y in the intervention group on perception of population risk assessment, attitudes and beliefs about people with HIV disease, less fear and more sympathy for and responsibility toward HIV patients, and an increase in self-perceived clinical skills. There was increased willingness to treat and teach colleagues about people with HIV. Clinician fear and discrimination were significantly reduced, and the climate of fear that was associated with HIV was replaced with a professional concern. There was increased understanding of appropriate psychosocial, clinical and human rights issues associated with HIV treatment and prevention. This intervention, targeting health workers in an entire state and using HIV/AIDS information, role modeling, diffusion of training and discussions of discrimination and human rights, significantly affected the perception of risk groups and behaviors, perceived skills in treatment and counseling, reduced fears and increased concern for people with HIV disease, and improved the climate of treatment and prevention of HIV disease compared with a control state.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)106-112
Number of pages7
JournalPublic Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by a World AIDS Foundation (Institut Pasteur, Paris, France) Grant reference number WAF 95 (95-049). The following nurses helped greatly in the conduct of the workshops and seminar including secretarial and other logistic works; Mrs Moira Young, Mrs Doris Etim and Mrs Ngozi Ezeanyagu.


  • AIDS
  • Attitudes
  • Clinical skills
  • HIV
  • Health workers
  • Human rights
  • Nigeria


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