Knowledge of HIV/AIDS and predictors of uptake of HIV counseling and testing among undergraduate stu

Knowledge of HIV/AIDS and predictors of uptake of HIV counseling and testing among undergraduate stu

Author by Prof. Franklin Ani

Language: English


Introduction: The spread of HIV/AIDS among the reproductive age group particularly young adults is a major public health concern in Nigeria. Lifestyles of students on university campuses put them at increased risk of contracting the HIV. The aim of this study was to assess the level of HIV/AIDS knowledge and to investigate the factors that were correlated with the uptake of and willingness to take up HIV counseling and testing. Methods: A cross-sectional study of 1,250 university students selected by 2-stage random sampling technique using self-administered questionnaire. Results: The participants consisted of 57.7% females and 42.3% males with ages ranging from 15 to 32 years and a mean of 19.13 ± 2.32 years. The awareness of HIV was universal. The knowledge about HIV/AIDS was very high with a mean score of 8.18 ± 1.60 out of 10; and 97.1% of participants having good knowledge of HIV/AIDS. The major source of HIV/AIDS information was the mass media. There was a significant difference in knowledge of HIV/AIDS by gender where male students had better knowledge about HIV/AIDS than females [t (1225) = 3.179, p = 0.002]. While 95% of the participants knew where to get an HIV test done, only 30.4% had tested for HIV within the six months preceding the study. However, 72.2% of them were willing to test for HIV. There was no significant association between demographic characteristics and having tested for HIV in the preceding six months but there was significant association between willingness to have an HIV test and the participants’ age groups, sex, marital status and their knowledge of HIV/AIDS. Participants who were aged 21 years and above and had good knowledge about HIV were more willing to take an HIV test. Females were more willing to take an HIV test than males. Conclusion: The participants’ knowledge about HIV /AIDS was quite good, the willingness to have HIV test done was high and the knowledge of a place where test can be done was nearly universal yet HIV testing was low. Innovative school based programs should be put in place to leverage on the willingness to test and translate it to periodic HIV testing.

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