Sexual practices and self-perception of HIV risk among undergraduates in a southern Nigeria university
Introduction: Young people are at increased risk of HIV because of their vulnerability and tendencies towards risky sexual practices.
Aims and Objectives: To describe the sexual practices and self-perception of HIV risk of full-time undergraduate students of the University of Benin, Nigeria.
Materials and Method: A descriptive cross-sectional study among full-time undergraduate students of University of Benin, Nigeria quartered in the University's Halls of Residence. A self-administered structured questionnaire was used to obtain data from selected students using systematic sampling technique.
Results: The mean age of the respondents was 21.6±0.92 years while the mean age of sexual debut was 18.8 ± 1.8 years. About a third [34.8%] of the respondents agreed to being sexually active in the past 6 months with majority of whom 75.7% were heterosexuals and 29.1% had multiple sexual partners. There was a significant tendency towards the inconsistent use of the condom with a higher proportion of the males [90.3%] and females [68.3%] of those who were sexually active, while [8.1%] males and [26.8%] females do not use condom [p= 0.014]. Of the 103 respondents who were sexually active, 85 (82.5%) think they are not at risk of HIV. Majority (88.5%) of the respondents who had knowledge of their HIV status think they are not at risk of HIV whereas 36.0% of those who did not know their HIV status think they at risk of HIV [p = 0.010].
Conclusion: This study has demonstrated high level of risky sexual behaviours and low level of self-perceived HIV risk among young people.
Keywords: Sexual practice, self-perception of HIV risk, University undergraduates, Nigeria