Influence of Gender and Demographic Variables on Awareness of Secondary School Students on HIV/AIDS Infection in Abuja, Nigeria
In many parts of the world, HIV/AIDS has gained pandemic dimension covering large areas and continues to spread. There are reports that worldwide, 45% of people contracting HIV/AIDS are adolescents aged between 15 and 24 years. The presence of HIV/AIDS epidemic in Nigeria elicited similar response to that experienced by many countries in Africa, and indeed, the world: denial, acceptance and finally actions to fight the
scourge. Since adolescents appear to be vulnerable to HIV/AIDS infection, this study ascertained the knowledge of HIV/AIDS infection among secondary school students in Abuja. A descriptive survey design was employed. Using multistage sampling technique, 602 senior secondary school students in Abuja were selected to participate in the study. A self-developed validated questionnaire was used to collect data and data was analysed using mean, frequency counts, percentages to describe the data and ANOVA, t-test and regression were used to analyse hypotheses and question set at 0.05 significant level. The major findings were that the students of older age group had knowledge of HIV/AIDS (p < 0.05) and the younger age group did not have knowledge; Male students appear more
knowledgeable than the female students (p < 0.05); gender, class and religion had influence on the knowledge of the students on HIV/AIDS (P < 0.05). In conclusion, Gender and Demographic Variables continue to limit the awareness of secondary school students on HIV/AIDS infection. Stakeholders must be involved in the proactive advocy and education of secondary school students on HIV/AIDS in order to gain adequate knowledge.
Keywords: knowledge, HIV/AIDS, secondary schools, infection, Abuja