Journal of Community Medicine and Primary Health Care

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Sexual behaviour among students in tertiary institutions in Kano, northern Nigeria

M Kabir, Z Iliyasu, IS Abubakar, AS Kabir


Background: There is a global trend towards early onset of sexual activity among youths with consequences of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancies. The study was therefore conducted to assess sexual activity, knowledge and perception of risk, use of protective measures and prevalence of high-risk sexual behaviour among students of tertiary institutions in Kano, Northern Nigeria.

Methods: Structured, close-ended questionnaires were administered to 300 students of Bayero University, Kano and the Federal College of Education, Kano to collect the relevant information using a cross-sectional descriptive study design.

Results: Out of the 300 respondents, 159 (53.0%) have had sexual intercourse at least once. The mean age at sexual debut was 18 ± 2 years. Although all respondents knew that unprotected sexual intercourse is associated with STIs, there were still misconceptions about the transmission of HIV and cure for AIDS. One hundred and sixty eight (56.0%) of the 300 students had inadequate knowledge about what constitute high-risk sexual behaviour. Only 39 (24.5%) of the sexually active respondents reported using a condom always while 45 (28.3%) never used it. The most common high-risk sexual behaviour among the students was multiple sexual partners which was practised by 73 (51.7%)) and anal sexual intercourse 17 (12.1%) among the sexually active respondents.

Conclusion: In the light of the high level of sexual activity detected, it is recommended that family life or sexuality education, starting early, through primary, secondary and tertiary education be institutionalised. This is to equip our youths with correct information to enable them make informed choices about responsible sexual life.
KEY WORDS: Sexual behaviour; Tertiary students; Kano; Nigeria
Journal of Community Medicine & Primary Health Care Vol.16(2) 2004: 17-22
AJOL African Journals Online