Perception of HIV/AIDS infection and its effect on condom use among the youth of Kenya’s Kibera Slum
While studies have shown that the total number of new HIV / AIDS infections globally is on the decrease, many Sub Saharan countries continue to record high HIV prevalence. This is the case especially among the youth living in informal settlements such as Kibera slums in Kenya. Proper and consistent condom use has been presented as one of the best ways of preventing the transmission of HIV among the youth whereas abstinence has been found to be a challenge for the youth who are seen as sexually active. Though several behaviour change campaigns have been done in Kenya to promote the use of condoms among the youth, their uptake is still low (Coma, 2014). Consequently, this study sought to find out the factors were influencing condom use decisions among the youth. Using the Theory of Planned Behaviour that links behaviour change to intention to perform behaviour greatly influenced by attitude, social norms and perceived behavioural control. Data for this quantitative study was collected through a questionnaire administered to 400 youths in Kibera and 356 were completed. Data collected were keyed into SPSS for analysis and presented in tables and graphs. Findings of the study revealed that many of the youth were sexually active (51 per cent) but were not using condoms. Their perception was that they were at no risk of infection (53.2 per cent). This perception of not being at risk impedes condom use among the youth hence the high HIV prevalence while another group felt that the free distributed condoms were of low quality. The study recommends that communicators, especially in this era of new media should tailor campaigns to address the perception of youth towards condoms. In addition, condom communication campaigns should link condom use to perception of risk of infection.
Key words: Condoms, HIV/AIDS, youth, perception, Kenya, Kibera