Female adolescent hawkers in Nigeria: HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, attitudes and behaviour
AbstractBackground: HIV/AIDS is a pandemic with serious consequences. It affects such vulnerable groups as street children, adolescents and particularly females.
Methodology: In 1999, a study was conducted among 686 randomly selected single females aged 10 to 24 years, who hawked food and other items in motor parks, in order to identify their HIV/AIDS risk and examine their possible role in its transmission, as a baseline for an intervention. Focus Group Discussion and adapted Participatory Action Research methodology were used to obtain information.
Results: Eighty-one per cent had heard about HIV/AIDS and its sexual transmission. Thirty-eight per cent did not abstain from sexual intercourse, 54.0% of these had multiple partners, 38.0% used the condom, and 7.4% had ever been raped during the course of their jobs as hawkers. Their risk perception was poor.
Conclusion: This target population is at high risk of contracting HIV infection and could transmit the infection within the community, thereby contributing significantly to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Female adolescent hawkers should be targeted with appropriate programmes that would empower them for the prevention of HIV/AIDS.
KEY WORDS: Adolescents; Hawkers; Rape; HIV/AIDS; Knowledge; Nigeria
Journal of Community Medicine & Primary Health Care Vol.16(2) 2004: 23-29