HIV/AIDS-related knowledge, risk behaviour and attitude to the use of condom among traders and drivers at the Central Market in Sokoto, Nigeria
Social principle of effective HIV/AIDS control strategy recognizes sexual behaviour and especially, the attitude to condom use, in its risk-and-vulnerability paradigm. Clearly this requires that intervention and control strategy be directed at identifiable risk groups. Consequently, volunteers who were traders or drivers at the Sokoto Central Market were selected at random and screened from 16 strata into which the market was divided. Respondents answered to a preformed questionnaire and also to oral interview. The questionnaire was designed to determine their socio-demographic characteristics, including marital status, knowledge of HIV/AIDS, sexual attitudes and practices, especially the use of condom. The result shows that most or 243 (96.4%) of respondents (n= 252) were aware of HIV/AIDS, a knowledge derived mainly from media advertisements (96.4%). Despite this awareness, 43.1% of the traders and 70% of the drivers admitted to making contact respectively with multiple partners and/or commercial sex workers (CSW), at least ones in last six months before the study. This attitude was prevalent among respondents irrespective of marital status. At period under study, 133 (69.3%) of the married (n=192) and38 (63.3%) of the non-married (n=60) made contact with CSW and multiple partners respectively. Highest patronage of CSW was made by the non-married of 47-57 years old (80.0%) but there was no significant difference in the poor attitude of either group to the use of condom (x2=0.28, p>0.01). Reason for condom use is to prevent pregnancy (54.7%) rather than STD (45.3%).There was no significant difference (p>0.05) in this attitude to condom use between drivers and traders or male and female respondents although the nonmarried (48.3%) compared with the married (43.2%) and the non-literate (54.3%)compared with the literate (45.2%) used condom less. This finding underscores the poor attitude to condom use by this segment of society and so exacerbating the risk of the spread of HIV/AIDS via sexual networking. It was concluded that a more effective strategy for HIV/AIDS control should promote behaviour change to tackle some cultural and religious vulnerability factors, probably with rewards for abstinence or adherence to safer sex practices in study area.