Background There is no doubt that the last two decades had witnessed a rising trend in the Global efforts at combating HIV and AIDs, more especially through the various treatment measures. However, though a lot had been achieved in the treatment of infected persons, the long and short term side effects of the drugs; patient drug adherence and follow-up issues are often problematic. Therefore, the most appropriate way to address the menace will be rigorous efforts geared towards adopting simple and effective prevention methods the world over. In developing countries such as found in Africa, including Nigeria, there are many factors militating against achieving a good success in reducing the spread of HIV and AIDs. The identified factors include: culture and tradition of the people, peer group influence, large family burden (Economy), marriage and religion. Hence, this work was undertaken to identify the most common factors contributing to the spread of HIV and AIDS in order to adopt adequate, practical and preventive solutions to tackle the identified factors in Lagos, Nigeria.
Method Questionnaires were distributed to 500 people in different locations in Lagos State, including one tertiary institution, 50 hair dressing and barbing salons, five community groups, 50 patent medicine dealers' shops, National Union of Road Transport Workers and ten randomly selected secondary schools in the five geographical zones in Lagos State between October 2009 and May 2010.
Result Out of the 500 people given questionnaires, only 350 (70%) responded. Out of the 350 respondents, 315 (90%) of them have had sex at one time or another, of which a highly significant (p>0.05) 157 (49.8%) people have had unprotected sex in the past. Of this group, 70 (44.6%) were sex with multiple partners while 87 (55.4%) were sex with single partners. Fifty (31.9%) people in this group adduced their reason for unprotected sex to marriage obligation, 20 (12.7%) to religion, 30 (19.1%) to culture and tradition, 40 (25.5%) to peer influence while 37 (23.6%) were due to economic reasons.
Conclusion There is a large pool of people who are still engaged in unprotected sex especially with multiple sexual partners in Lagos, Nigeria. The reasons include social, economic, religious, marital and religious factors. Hence a lot more concerted effort is needed by the Government, private organizations, religious and traditional leaders to educate and enlighten people on the need for protected sex, especially people with multiple sexual partners in order to reduce the spread of STIs including HIV and AIDS in our communities in Lagos, Nigeria.