Socio-cultural Factors Engendering Vulnerability to HIV Epidemic in Enugu South Local Government Area, Enugu State, Nigeria

Filed in Articles by on September 18, 2020

Socio-cultural Factors Engendering Vulnerability to HIV Epidemic in Enugu South Local Government Area, Enugu State, Nigeria.


HIV/AIDS epidemics affect the functioning of society in several ways. The inability of the extant literature to adequately highlight cultural factors and practices that favour and/or mitigate the spread of the disease necessitated the study. The study examined how socio-cultural factors engender vulnerability to HIV epidemic in Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State, Nigeria.

Health Belief Model was used as analytical framework in explaining explains why belief, vulnerability and attitudes of people affect disease spread. The study adopted two-prong methodological approach – qualitative and quantitative research technique: primary data was gathered using structured questionnaire while secondary data was gathered from relevant and related literature.

The sample size of this research study was 200 respondents, method of selection was multi-stage cutting across sex, age, income level, faith/religion, etc. The method of analysis was principal component analysis (factor analysis). The major findings from the study showed that blood covenants/oaths, tribal marks, having multiple female partners, and polygamy were key factors engendering vulnerability to HIV epidemic in Enugu South Local Government Area.


HIV/AIDS is one of the most widespread and lethal diseases occurring in the world today. According to the latest estimates from UNAIDS; there were 36.9 million people living with HIV in 2014, up from 29.8 million in 2001 and about 1.2 million people have died of AIDS in 2014. (UNAIDS, 2015). What makes AIDS potent is that it can spread very quickly by attacking the very defence of human beings, their immune systems.

Most of the people living with or at the risk for the infection do not have access to prevention, care and treatment, and there is still no cure. (UNAIDS, 2015). In Europe and North America new drug tests and preventive measures are currently being researched to help stop the transmission and spread of HIV/AIDS. In much of the developing world, however, where HIV/AIDS is a larger problem because of the portion of the population affected, such simple preventive measures (in Western biomedicine) as encouraging condom use are not very successful.

In order to fully understand the effects of HIV/AIDS in developing countries, particularly in Africa, one must be able to take into account the political, economic, ecological, social, and cultural factors that influence the representations of HIV/AIDS and the ways in which Africans perceive their health outlook. Essential to this understanding is awareness of the context in which decisions regarding health, health-seeking behaviour, and sexual behaviour are constructed (FaIola & Heaton, 2007).

The HIV/AIDS epidemic has at least two major patterns of transmission: Pattern One and Pattern Two. Patten One refers to the spread of the virus through homosexual activities. This pattern exists mainly in the United States, Europe, and Australia. Drug injection is also believed to contribute to the spread of HIV in Pattern One regions. Pattern Two, on the other hand, refers to the transmission of the virus primarily through heterosexual activities.


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