High risk sexual behavior among adolescent senior secondary school students in Nigeria
Background: The consequences of high risk sexual practices (HRSP) are enormous among adolescent senior secondary school students. They therefore need to have sufficient knowledge of HRSP.
Aim Objectives: The study gauged the level of knowledge and perceptions of high risk sexual behavior among senior secondary school students in Ilorin, Nigeria with a view to improving their understanding of the current trends in HRSP. This was a quantitative, cross-sectional, descriptive study of adolescent secondary school students in Ilorin East Local Government Area. Multi – stage sampling method involving 3 stages was used. A semi-structured interviewer administered questionnaire was used to obtain data. Informed consent of respondents was obtained. The data was analyzed using SPSS windows software package version 17.
Results: Majority, 305 (69.5%) of the students were between 16 – 20 years. The major source of information was from movies, 42.5%, and the internet, 24.7%. Twenty-three percent (23.1%) had poor knowledge of HRSP. Thirty-eight percent (38.1%) did not consider indiscrimi- nate sexual intercourse as HRSP while 27.9% still believed that unprotected sexual practice is safe. Thirty-four percent (34.2%) did not know that sex with multiple partners is a HRSP while 34.4% did not know that oral –genital sex is unsafe. Over thirty-two (32.9%) perceived that engaging in sex made them mature among peers. Twenty-four (24.7%) did not perceive any danger in keeping multiple sexual partners while 15.3% would still engage in unprotected sex.
Conclusion: The students had relatively poor knowledge and perceptions of HRSP. Quite a number did not consider indiscriminate sexual intercourse as HRSP. An appreciable number did not perceive any danger in keeping multiple sexual partners or beingengaged in unprotected sex. Counselling on the dangers of HRSP should be a component of the school health services so as to curb the complications of HRSP in our secondary schools.
Keywords: Knowledge, attitude , perception , high risk sexual practices, Nigeria