HIV refers to human immunodeficiency virus. AIDS stands for Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome which refers to the disease that weakens the body’s immune system that cause the body to become vulnerable to contracting life threatening infections. Human immunodeficiency virus was first discovered in 1980’s among homosexual men in United stat By the mid of 1980’s, it become clear that the virus had spread, largely unnoticed throughout the world (Sharp ; Hahn, 2014).
HIV/AIDS can be transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse, oral sex with infected person, sharing of contaminated sharp equipment, blood transfusion and from mother to her infants during pregnancy, child birth or during breastfeeding. HIV/AIDS length of incubation period vary between individuals, others will develop early but majority of people develop from 5-10 years.
HIV virus had no cure, but there is antiretroviral therapy that slow the disease progression through preventing viral replicating and therefore decrease the amount of virus in the blood of an infected person. According to WHO and UNAIDS 2016 report, 36.7 million of people were living with HIV globally, 1.7 million become newly infected and 1 million of people died with HIV related causes (WHO Global health strategy, 2016).
An estimated 70% of people living with HIV worldwide are from middle income countries and developing countries such as sub-Saharan countries including Tanzania. There is a lot of man efforts in order to prevent HIV epidemics which now become the great threat all over the world and especially for developing countries. Leaders of government, religion, cultural and private institution are increasingly coming forward to take action against HIV/AIDS.
Now we have antiretroviral drugs that can prolong life and reduce physical effects of HIV infection. Coordinated nation and international actions like WHO and USAIDS programmes are slashed the prices of these medicines in low and middle income countries, and sustained efforts are now under way to make access for people living with HIV across the world who desperately need antiretroviral therapy (UNAIDS, 2012).
In Tanzania, HIV first case was identified in Kagera region in 1983. Since then HIV has become pandemic disease in our country that spread almost all region and expanding in scope and magnitude (Kamala, 2012). According to UNAIDS 2017 Tanzania HIV/AIDS report, it is estimated about total of 1.4 million of Tanzanians were estimated to be living with HIV in 2015. Between those people who living with HIV it is estimated that 54000 was new cases and also there estimated 36000 number of death due to HIV-related death in Tanzania in each year (UNAIDS, 2017). HIV/AIDS is mainly associated with different opportunistic infections for example Tuberculosis and Cancer.
Therefore because of weakened body immune system, there is much need of body care and effective prevention of opportunistic infection. HIV/AIDS infection can be prevented through different methods such as, safe sex by use of condoms, abstinence, faithfulness, safe blood transfusion, avoiding sharing of sharp objects, comprehensive education and campaign ,use of antiretroviral drugs to prevent mother to child transmission (Kamala, 2012). Then, it is very important to improve clear understanding and knowledge about preventive measures in order to control and decrease the rate of HIV infection in our population.
HIV/AIDS continue to be major public health issue, having claimed more than 36.7 million of people were living with HIV globally, 1.7 million become newly infected and more than 1 million of people died with HIV related causes yearly (WHO Global health strategy, 2016). Despite of all efforts made to prevent HIV/AIDS globally, HIV/AIDS pandemic continue to spread worldwide by affecting people with different age and ethnicity. Most of the people can get new infection and live with HIV without knowing if they are infected. From WHO Global health HIV strategies, 17 million of people were living with HIV at the end of 2014 without knowing if their HIV status.
HIV/AIDS pandemic is very common in developing countries like Tanzania due to presence of inadequate knowledge about HIV prevention, lack of education, bad perception, culture and poverty which will facilitate behaviours and conditions that put individuals at greater risk of contracting HIV/AIDS infection. Also the access of health services, drugs and poor health infrastructures is one among the contributing factors. There is many strategies from world health organization, government, public and private organization approach to prevent the spread of HIV infection in Tanzania like education and antiretroviral therapy.
People at any age or gender can be at the risk of getting infections but youths are more prone to HIV infection as a result of bad attitudes against HIV prevention, lack of correct health information, risk behaviours and lack of access to adequate reproductive health services (Global, 2016). This result to the increase of HIV prevalence among youths due to low knowledge of HIV prevention among young people (15-24) such as only 43.4% of youth (UNAIDS, 2017).
Therefore without effective efforts and commitment on improving reproductive health education programs, improving access to health services and effective prevention programs the incidence of HIV infection will be high and increase the burden to the government because nowdays youth are the working force in different economic sectors.
Study has been done in Tanzania to assess knowledge, attitude and practice on HIV prevention among secondary school students in Bukoba and rural, Kagera Tanzania and it was found that majority of students (93-7%) knew how HIV is transmitted but 53.6% reported to had penetrative sex while half of the students (52.5%) reported to have used condoms in their last sexual encounter (Kamala, 2012). The study was done at rural area among secondary school students at Bukoba, and recently there is no study done among higher education or university students at urban area like Muhimbili university of health and allied science at Dar es salaam. Therefore this study will improve clear understanding about knowledge and preventive measures regarding HIV/AIDS infections among students so as to reduce youths HIV incidences in Tanzania.
3.1 Broad objective
To explore the knowledge and awareness among nursing students at MUHAS towards HIV/AIDS prevention.
3.2 Specific objective
To assess knowledge of nursing students toward protection of HIV/AIDS infection.
To assess HIV infection prevention practices among nursing students at MUHAS.
3.0 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
Nursing students at MUHAS are more likely to have knowledge and understanding towards HIV prevention.
4.0 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What do Nursing students know about prevention of HIV/AIDS infection?
2. Which methods are used to prevent HIV infection among themselves?