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Nigerian Medical Practitioner

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Knowledge of HIV/AIDS and Sexual Behaviour of Adolescents in a Sub-Saharan Cosmopolitan City

Bolanle A Akinsanya, Ifeoma P Okafor, Alero A Roberts

Abstract


HIV/AIDS is a pandemic which affects mainly the reproductive age group of the population. Adequate knowledge and safe sexual behavior among young people is key to the eventual elimination of the disease. The aim of this study was to identify adolescents' knowledge of HIV/AIDS and their sexual behavior, as they form a significant at-risk group. This was a descriptive study of in-school adolescents carried out in Lagos, Nigeria. The respondents were 247 students selected by a multi-stage sampling method from public Secondary Schools. Data was obtained by self-administered questionnaires. Adolescents have good knowledge (84.2%) of key basic concepts on HIV/AIDS. Among those who had ever had sex, many (54.5%) were sexually active and 57.6% used condom with their partner at last intercourse. Out of the sexually active females 3(11.5%) reported a history of unwanted pregnancy. The adolescents' knowledge of HIV/AIDS was not found to be a significant determinant of their sexual behavior. In-school adolescents fail to recognize the fact their unsafe sexual behavior put them at a great risk of acquiring STDs including HIV infection and also unwanted pregnancy. We recommend sex education/family life education, behavioural change and condom use campaign for adolescents.

Keywords: Adolescents; Risky behavior; Sexually active; Sexual behavior

Nigerian Medical Practitioner Vol. 63 No 1-2, 2013



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