Knowledge, attitude and practice of the trainee seafarers to HIV/AIDS and STIs at Apapa Seaport, Lagos

  • AM Efunsile
  • OO Oduyebo
  • WA Oyibo
  • FT Ogunsola
  • FA Fatungase
  • OA Osinupebi


The epidemic of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in Nigeria is being fuelled by ignorance and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). Little is known about HIV-risk related sexual behavior of the Nigerian sailors. This study describes the baseline knowledge, attitude and practice of the trainee sailors to HIV. Ninety four (83.2%) of the 113 trainee interviewed consented to participate in voluntary counseling and confidential testing (VCT) programme. Each trainee completed an anonymous self- administered questionnaire and was tested for syphilis, trichomoniasis and HIV. Seventy one (75.5%) of the respondents were between ages 21-25 years. Twenty three (25%) did not believe that having sex with commercial sex workers puts them at high risk of HIV while eighteen (19.1%) did not believe that condoms were protective. Only ten (10.6%) practiced abstinence while three were homosexual. Despite all these, sixty three (67%) believed that they were at little or no risk of HIV, prevalence of which was found to be 5.3% among them. Seventy one (75.5%), fifteen (16%), twenty (21%) and (20.2% of respondents believed that genital ulcers, gonorrhea, syphilis and HIV respectively were not sexually transmitted. Trichomoniasis and syphilis were found in two (2.1%) and one (1.1%) respondents respectively. Female sex (P=0.002) and trichomoniasis (P=0.017) were found to significantly influence HIV infection. There was a high level of ignorance about HIV and STIs among respondents. This was further highlighted by the high rate of high-risk behaviors. Therefore, sustained educational programs and promotion of condoms are recommended to address this problem.

African Journal of Clinical Experimental Microbiology Vol. 8 (2) 2007: pp. 94-100

Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 1595-689X