Knowledge of HIV/AIDS, attitudes and contraception among university students in Port Harcourt, Nigeria

  • KC Ekpe
  • RI Ozolua
Keywords: HIV/AIDS, knowledge, attitude, condom, contraceptives, university students


HIV/AIDS remains a serious health challenge in Nigeria. In spite of public enlightenment, new cases of infection are being reported among university students. This study was undertaken to evaluate the knowledge of HIV/AIDS and level of contraception as measures of sexual attitude of university students in Port Harcourt. A 20-item questionnaire was administered to 230 students of Rivers State University of Science and Technology, and University of Port Harcourt. Drug outlets within two-kilometre radius of each campus were visited and the volume of sale of condoms and oral contraceptive pills was quantified. Statistical analysis was done using Fisher’s exact test and Pearson’s rank correlation. Respondents comprised 57.0% males and 43.0% females and the majority were single (78.0%). Knowledge of transmission and ways prevention was quite high (63.2%, P < 0.0001). The news media was the main source of knowledge (34.0%). Sexually active respondents were 75.3%. Condom was used regularly by 53.5% and contraceptive pills by 27.1%. Between the first and last quarter of 2006, the sale of oral contraceptives, emergency contraceptives and condoms increased by 68.4%, 50.2% and 32.7% respectively. There was no correlation between knowledge of HIV infection and contraceptive practice (P = 0.2723, r = 0.0820). Although university students were knowledgeable about transmission and prevention of HIV, this knowledge did not reflect in the attitude of students towards sex. More intense awareness campaigns to promote abstinence and safe sex practices are recommended.

Keywords: HIV/AIDS, knowledge, attitude, condom, contraceptives, university students


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eISSN: 0189-8442