Knowledge of HIV/AIDS among secondary school adolescents in Osun state, Nigeria
AbstractBackground and Objectives: This study aimed to assess the knowledge of secondary school pupils in Osun State about HIV/AIDS and the sources of their information.
Materials and Methods: A multistage random sampling technique was used to select 592 secondary school pupils from 5 local government areas of Osun State, Nigeria. A self-administered questionnaire was used which composed of questions on their knowledge and sources of information about HIV/AIDS.
Results: About half believed that HIV can be contracted via mosquito bites and 53.7% believed via kissing. Half of the respondents agreed that a person who looks healthy can be infected and possess the ability to describe the look of an infected person. Majority (92.6%) claimed to have heard about HIV/AIDS prior to the study. More than half (67.8%) agreed that HIV/AIDS is a life-threatening disease, 29.4% said there is a cure for AIDS, and 77.6% thought that the government is doing enough to deal with the disease. The most important sources of HIV/AIDS information among the respondents were the media and the least important sources of information were the traditional healers (35.3%).
Conclusion: This study revealed a high-level misconception among secondary school pupils in Osun State, Nigeria. Mass media was the major source of information with doubtful effectiveness evidenced by obvious erroneous beliefs. An improved multisectorial approach in HIV/AIDS education with greater participation of school and public libraries is advised.