Impact of Health Education on Sexual Risk Behaviour of Secondary School Students in Jos, Nigeria
Background: Secondary school students are a high risk group for HIV transmission. They could also be easily reached with health education interventions. There is as yet no global consensus on the nature, content and effectiveness of this intervention among this group. It is also not known how effective this intervention is in reducing sexual risk behaviour among secondary school students in our environment. The aim of the study was to find out the impact of HIV/AIDS health education intervention on the sexual risk behaviour of secondary school students. Methods: This was an interventional follow-up study among senior secondary school students with controls selected from similar schools. The students\' sexual risk behaviour was assessed at baseline followed by a HIV/AIDS health education intervention. The risk behaviour was then re-assessed 6 months after the intervention. Result: Students who lived in urban areas and those who lived with both parents were less likely to have experienced sexual intercourse at baseline than those who lived in the rural areas (but school in Jos during school sessions), and those who lived with single parents and other relations. Health education delayed sexual debut among students who were sexually naïve but had no effect on the sexual activity of those who were already sexually experienced. Conclusion: Health Education intervention has a place in reducing secondary school students\' sexual risk behaviour if commenced before their sexual debut.
Keywords: HIV/AIDS; Health Education; Secondary School Students:
Nigerian Journal of Medicine Vol. 17 (3) 2008: pp. 324-329