1.1       Background to the Study

Human immunodeficiency virus infection and acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) is a spectrum of conditions caused by infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (Alexander et al., 2015).

Human immunodeficiency virus and Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/AIDS) has remained a great challenge to human life with the ability to erode social and economic development. The region of the world mostly affected being Sub- Saharan Africa (UNAIDS, 2013). The prevalence is highest among productive young people between the ages of 20-29 years, with 60% of new cases occurring in the 15-25year- old age group (USAIDS, 2013; FMH, 2016). Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) estimated 33.4 million people living with HIV globally in 2008 and about 3.11 million people are estimated to be living with HIV in Nigeria by the end of 2010, thereby making about 9% of the global HIV burden (UNAIDS, 2013; FMH, 2016).

Heterosexual transmission accounts for 80% of all HIV infections in Nigeria (USAIDS, 2014). The HIV epidemic in Nigeria is characterized by one of the most rapidly increasing rates of new HIV/AIDS cases in West Africa (HIV/AIDS). This infection rate, although lower than that of neighbouring African countries, should be considered in the context of Nigeria’s relatively large population. In 2007 alone, approximately 170,000 people died from AIDS (UNAIDS, 2014).

Some sub-groups of the population, such as female sex workers and long distance drivers, have been shown to be particularly at increased risk of exposure to HIV (Hope, 2013).

A study in which the knowledge and attitudes of long distance truck drivers concerning sexually transmitted diseases (STD) and sexual behaviour were surveyed revealed that 317 (99%) of the subjects had heard of AIDS and were aware of the correct risk-reducing behaviour. Though they knew the use of condoms can prevent the transmission/acquisition of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), only 32% had ever used condoms despite the fact that 61% admitted to visiting prostitutes (Bwayo et al., 2014).

Literature about the motorcycle, as a commercial means of transportation is relatively scarce because it is a new venture in Nigeria. Although many programs for the prevention of HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases are being carried out in Nigeria, the commercial motorcyclists, a group similar to long distance drivers, have been virtually overlooked in the dynamics of urban HIV and their role as potential carriers of HIV/ AIDS. The commercial motorcyclists are exposed daily to very close interaction with different segments of the population with their divergent views about the infection. It is suspected that this interaction may be one of many ways that expose them to multiplicity of sexual partners hence this study which aimed at assessing HIV-related knowledge and sexual behaviour, particularly condom use, among commercial motorcyclists (otherwise known as okada riders) in Ekpoma in Edo State, South-south Nigeria with a view of finding an effective way to curb this rapid spreading menace from our society.

1.2       Statement of the Problem

Ekpoma is a town in Esan West Local Government Area. The town is popular for commercial motorcyclist because of abundance of students and other passengers.  More so, commercial sex workers who go about looking for motorcyclists and drivers.

It is generally believed that that the motorcyclist usually have casual sex with commercial sex workers. The practice of having casual sex has been identified by health workers as one of the main source of contacting the deadly HIV/AIDS.

The main problems of this study therefore is to find out if the motorcyclist are aware of the virus, how it is spread, the preventive measures and the health education program mounted for its control.

1.3     Research Question

The following questions are designed to guide this study.

  1. Are the commercial motorcyclists knowledgeable about HIV/AIDS?
  2. What are their modes of spread of HIV/AIDS among commercial motorcyclists in Ekpoma?

1.4       Objectives of the Study

            The objective of the study is:

  1. To identify the level of knowledge of HIV/AIDS among the commercial motorcyclist with a view of suggesting how to assist them.
  2. To find out the cause of HIV/AIDS among the commercial motorcyclist.
  3. To specify the mode of transmission among the commercial motorcyclist.

1.5       Significance of the Study

The significance of the study of HIV/AIDS among the commercial motorcyclist in Ekpoma is important, as it facilitate conscious development about the disease in most rural communities in Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State. It will help to reduce the HIV/AIDS infection among the commercial motorcyclist. This study will also assist in; Identifying the factors responsible for the spread of the disease. It will enable motorcyclist to appreciate the stating impact of HIV/AIDS in their profession and life in general. It will promote understanding and knowledge of HIV/AIDS among commercial motorcyclist.

To explain some of the preventive measures as well as self control and discipline in averting the disease among the members of the society.

It will also elicit understanding that does not cause HIV/AIDS infection among others factors.

1.6 Scope of Study

The research was carried out in Ekpoma, the administrative headquarter of Esan West Local Government Area of Edo State, Nigeria. The study is basically concerned with the determination of the knowledge on the mode of spread of HIV/AIDS among motorcyclists in Ekpoma. The sample for the study is chosen from among all commercial motorcyclists that work in Ekpoma.

1.7       Operational Definition of Terms

Knowledge:  Facts, information, and skills acquired through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject.

HIV: Human Immune Deficiency Virus, Weakness of the immune system, Increase chances of infection.

AIDS: Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome

Acquired:       The deficiency is neither innate nor hereditary. The problem/disease is passed from one person to another, it is not an inherited condition.

Immune:         The capacity of the organism to defend itself. The body’s defence system. Protect the body from disease.

Immune Deficiency: Indicated that the body system has broken down.

Syndrome: Indicate that the disease results in a variety of health problems. A collection of symptoms and signs.

Immunity:  A state or relative body resistant to infection. The ability of the body to resist infection/disease.

Deficiency: The weakening of the immune system. The body defence is not working.

Infection: It is the successful establishment and growth of microorganism in the tissue of the host.