Attitude of the Youth towards People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLWHA): The Case of Cape Coast Polytechnic

Emmanuel Baffour-Awuah


Various forms of stigma exist as far as HIH/AIDS is concerned. Its infection is usually related to promiscuous lifestyles though that is not the only means by which it could be contracted. Its effects include high bills on medications, nutrition, diets, funerals and welfare related support systems in addition to loss of productive time and energy from care-givers.  Stigmatization and associated discrimination creates the vicious cycle by which infected persons spread the disease. This study therefore intends to ascertain the attitudes of students with respect to stigma and discriminating attitudes such as friendship, sex-mating and marriage. It is a case study of students in Cape Coast Polytechnic, Ghana. Four hundred and sixty-six students were involved. Stratified sampling technique was used to sample the target population. Questionnaire was utilized to solicit data. SPSS version 21 was used to analyze the data. Cross- tabulations and chi-square tests were used to analyze the data. Associations between demographic variables such as gender, age, settlement type, programme of study and school in institution versus attitudes were sought.  The study found that 91.8 percent polytechnic students were aware of the existence of HIV/AIDS. There was 67.31 percent negative attitude in terms of choosing a spouse and sixty percent negative attitude in separating with PLWHA as spouse. Geographic region and settlement type could affect the attitude of students towards PLWHA. It is recommended that the management must have a policy on stigmatization and discrimination to make students’ associations organically and intrinsically part of HIV/AIDS education programmes in the institution.

Key words: discrimination, HIV-positive, PLWHA, stigma, 

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3208 ISSN (Online)2225-093X

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