Deliberate efforts to halt human immunodeficiency virus infection (HIV) propagation and mitigate human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) impact in resource-poor communities are critical elements of HIV/AIDS control and care. This study investigated the HIV/AIDS prevention programmes and mitigating measures (HIV/AIDS PPMM) among the Idoma-speaking people in Benue State, North Central Nigeria. From a purposive sample of 25 relatives of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), nine health workers and six community leaders selected from two HIV treatment centres and six nine communities in three Local Government Areas (LGAs) (that is, district level), data were collected through Integrated Disbursement and Information System (IDIS) and focus group discussions (FGDs), and analysed thematically to meet study objectives. Findings on community-initiated measures on HIV/AIDS control in Idoma land were presented under the following heading: sanctions on prostitution, training/credit facilities for affected persons (OVC), government and non-governmental (NGO) programmes such as free anti-retroviral drugs, counselling services and AIDS awareness campaigns. Some of the government and NGO sponsored initiatives to curtail HIV/AIDS situation had drawbacks – some campaign messages were themselves perceived to be stigmatising, while supply of drugs was erratic. It was concluded that inconsistencies of some of the HIV/AIDS interventions may worsen the HIV/AIDS situation in this socially and economically disadvantaged community. There is need for consistent treatment programmes, appropriate HIV/AIDS mass education and other social strategies using healing and destigmatising messages, drama and effective community sanctions. These should be appropriately designed and disseminated to reduce HIV/AIDS-related stigma and discrimination, while curbing HIV spread, and mitigating the consequences of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Key words: HIV/AIDS mitigating measures, HIV/AIDS prevention strategies, Idoma people, Benue state, Nigeria.
HIV/AIDS PPMM, HIV/AIDS prevention programmes and mitigating measures.
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