Knowledge and awareness of HIV/AIDS and its socio-demographic determinants among undergraduates in a Southern Nigeria University
Background: Globally, young people are at increased risk of the infection from human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). This study aims to assess the knowledge of HIV/AIDS and its sociodemographic determinants among university undergraduate students.
Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study of 296 full-time undergraduates of the University of Benin using semistructured self-administered questionnaires.
Results: The male to female ratio was 1.5:1. The modal age group was 20-24 years (55.7%). Respondents reported multiple sources of information, with television as the major source of information (72.9%). Almost all (98.0%) of the respondents were aware of HIV/AIDS while 65.5% knew their HIV status. The majority (91.9%) of the respondents knew that a virus causes HIV/AIDS and 97.3% had correct knowledge of the modes of transmission of HIV/AIDS. Correct knowledge of HIV/AIDS prevention and cure was reported by 88.5% and 62.5% of the respondent, respectively. The overall mean knowledge score is 8.1. There was no statistically significant
difference in the self-knowledge of respondent's HIV status among young people aged less than 25 years compared with those 25 years and above (OR: 2.24, 95% CI: 0.02-16.02, p 0.683) and sex (OR: 0.98, 95% CI: 0.58-1.65, p 0.006).
Conclusion: This study revealed an overall good knowledge of HIV/AIDS among university undergraduates. However, there were some knowledge gaps in the self-knowledge of HIV status as well as the cause and modes of transmission of HIV which may potentially influence risky behaviours. There should be sustained efforts by all stakeholders on HIV education and
testing at various ecological levels.
Keywords: young adults, university undergraduates, knowledge of HIV, socio-demographic determinants