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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2011  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 18-24

Knowledge, attitude and practice of HIV/AIDS: Behavior change among tertiary education students in Lagos, Nigeria


Infectious Diseases Unit, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4XW, Wales, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Oyewole C Durojaiye
Infectious Diseases Unit, University Hospital of Wales, Heath Park, Cardiff, CF14 4XW, Wales
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.80516

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Background : Globally, the spread of HIV/AIDS remains on the rise with young people at increased risk of infection. Sexual behavior change remains the most effective way of preventing further transmission. Aim: To gain the knowledge needed to develop appropriate interventions that will enable young people to adopt safe sexual practices. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using structured questionnaires among 315 randomly selected students enrolled at a tertiary institution in Lagos State, Nigeria. Results: The mean age of the respondents was 23 years. Although the mean score of the participants' responses to ten HIV/AIDS knowledge questions was 8.3 of 10 points, 73.5% of them did not perceive themselves at risk of being infected. Majority (53.8%) had not changed their dating behaviors as a result of concerns for HIV/AIDS and 70.3% had multiple lifetime sexual partners. Those who perceived themselves at risk of infection are significantly (P = 0.019) more likely to always use condoms. Using the AIDS Risk Reduction Model (ARRM), it was found that the students are in the first stage of behavior change process: recognition of the problem. The low risk perception has prevented movement to the second stage of making commitment to change behavior. Conclusion: The awareness and knowledge of HIV/AIDS is high among tertiary education students in Lagos, Nigeria. However, risk perception is low with high-risk sexual behaviors. The failure to perceive HIV/AIDS as a personal risk has prevented commitment to behavior change. Interventions aimed at influencing risk perception are paramount to curb the spread of this dreaded disease.


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