This descriptive survey study investigated psychosocial Needs of People Living With HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) in Northern Senatorial District of Cross River State, Nigeria. The study population comprised all the PLWHA and the Health Counsellors in comprehensive Antiretroviral Therapy Centres in Northern Senatorial District of Cross River State. The sample comprised 300 patients and 26 Health Counsellors randomly selected from a total population of 3,301 patients and 26 Health Counsellors. The instruments used for data collection were two researcher’s designed questionnaires titled “Needs of HIV & AIDS Patients Questionnaire (NHAPQ) and “Counselling Strategies for HIV & AIDS Patients Questionnaire” (CSHAPNQ). These instruments were face validated by three experts in the Faculty of Education of University of Nigeria, Nsukka. The reliability of the instrument was determined using Cronbach Alpha statistics which analysis gave an overall Alpha Co-efficient Value of 0.82 for NHAPQ and 0.63 for CSHAPNQ instruments respectively. Data collected were analyzed using percentage, mean and standard deviation statistical tools in answering the six research questions while z-test and ANOVA statistical tools were used to analyze the null hypotheses tested at 0.05 probability level. The findings show that the prevalence of HIV & AIDS was highest among age range of 26-35 years. HIV and AIDS patients have psychological and sociological needs that need to be met by their health care givers and this will be achieved using some counselling strategies. The study also showed that the psychosocial needs of PLWHA were reduced to a great extent. However, the null hypotheses testing showed that there is no significant difference among psychosocial needs of PLWHA based on age range. Also, that there is no significant difference between male and female psychosocial needs of PLWHA. Based on these findings some counseling implications were highlighted and recommendations made. Among which are that government and health professional should be more committed in attending to psychosocial needs of PLWHA and organise workshops and seminars for health counsellors on effective counseling strategies for caring of PLWHA.

Background of the Study
One of the most complex and complicated health problems confronting the world today, is the Human Immune Deficiency Virus (HIV) infection and the Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) disease. Within the past two decades, it has attracted to itself greater world attention than any other health problem or any other cause of death before and after it. Billions of dollars have been sunk into research to find a cure for it but there has been no breakthrough yet. The rate of its transmission has become so alarming; exceeding by far the birth rate in some countries. AIDS is now a household word and has become one of the greatest world challenges of the 21st millennium (Otti, 2005).

According to the epidemiological report on HIV and AIDS of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS (UNAIDS), an estimated 38.6 million (33.4 million – 46.0 million) people World-Wide were living with HIV at the end of 2005, 4.1 million (3.4 million - 6.2 million) people become newly infected with HIV and 2.8 million (2.4 million – 3.3 million) people lost their lives to AIDS.(UNAIDS, 2006).

One of the regions of the World most heavily affected by the disease is the sub- Saharan Africa. According to UNAIDS (2006),an estimated 24.5 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2005 and approximately 2-7 million infections occurred during the year.

HIV and AIDS is still a threatening pandemic that has claimed many lives and affected the growth and development of many countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa where the pandemic is increasing and the quality of life of People Living With HIV and AIDS (PLWHA) has been under minded.

HIV and AIDS has become a threat to public health in Nigeria as a result of its devastating consequences, which are manifested in forms of prolonged sickness, deaths and increase in number of orphans and widows/widowers. Nigeria has an estimated population of about 150 million, of which about 3.5 million are infected with HIV and AIDS (Federal Ministry of Information and National Orientation (FMINO, 2007).

HIV and AIDS was first identified in Nigeria in 1985 and reported at an International Conference in 1986 (Adeyi and Ademo, 2006). The HIV and AIDS pandemic led to the death of 170,000 Nigerians in 2007 (UNAIDS, 2008). According to Edward (2010) Nigeria has already surpassed the 5 percent explosive prevalence phase and the disease has killed more than 1.3 million people and orphaned more than 1 million children (FMIN0 2007).

According to Edewor (2010), the mode of HIV transmission in Nigeria is mainly through unprotected sex, and other factors which contribute to the spread of the virus include poverty; Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), social and religious norms and political and social changes (National AIDS/STD Control Programme, 1999).

The prevalence of HIV and AIDS in Nigeria, based on the United States Embassy in Nigeria HIV and Fact Shoot Report 2010, shows that the most populous black nation in the world with a population of 160 million, Nigeria has the second largest number of people Living With HIV (PLWH) (3.1 million) after South Africa (5.6 million) Nigeria account for 10% of the global HIV burden. Approximately 215,000 people died from HIV in 2010. Nigeria has a national HIV prevalence of 4.1% in 2010. State prevalence ranged from 12.7% in Benue State down to 1% in Kebbi State in 2010. The state with the highest prevalence are concentrated in the North Central, South-east and South-South parts of the country.

The prevalence is highest among young women aged 15-24 years and is estimated to be three times higher than among men of the same age. It was further stated that HIV and AIDS prevalence was highest in urban areas in twenty-six out of the thirty-six states of the federation. Nigeria just like many developing nations, suffers the formidable task of tackling a wide spread epidemic, which has already claimed an estimated two million lives and left behind approximately, two million orphans. (Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), 2011).

Cross River State had HIV prevalence of 4.1% in 2011 local Government Area prevalence range from 4.1% to 1% in 2011. The prevalence is highest among young women aged 14 – 20 years and is estimated to be three times higher than among men of the same age. The prevalence was highest in urban areas in 13 Local Government Areas (Cross River Ministry of Health, 2010).....

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