Young adults and aids epidemics: their perception awareness information sources and sexual practices
Background: Education and awareness is important in appreciating the seriousness of a disease, and in arousing feeling of concern about an epidemic in any society. Continuing trend show a disproportionate increase in new incidences of HIV infection among young adults in sub-Sahara Africa. This study aimed to investigate a group of Nigerian student teachers’ awareness and perception on AIDS, and their adherence to safe sex practices.
Methods: Nigerian students in a College of Education (N= 382) were surveyed using a 52-item questionnaire that solicited information on sociodemographics, knowledge on AIDS, and on how serious and concerned are the students about AIDS epidemic. It also elicited information on their information sources and needs, on AIDS testing, sexual activity, and condom use.
Results: The students showed satisfactory knowledge, and AIDS epidemics was a serious issue and of concern to them, but many of the students who had experience with sexual intercourse seldom use condom on a consistent basis. Level of perceived seriousness and feeling of concern about AIDS epidemics influenced condom use consistency, while male gender and knowledge level influenced the students’ appreciation of the seriousness of AIDS epidemics. Male students reported experience with sexual intercourse and condom use more frequently than their female counterparts.
Conclusion: The study affirms discrepancy between knowledge on AIDS and sexual practices and that an all inclusive approach to AIDS campaign including education and encounters that heightens the perception of seriousness and concern about AIDS epidemics could facilitate improved sexual practices and behavior among student teachers.
Keywords: Students, higher institutions, Nigerian, sexual intercourse, condom use