AIDS knowledge, attitude and behavioural patterns among high school students in southwestern Nigeria

OO Opaleye, OA Olowe, SS Taiwo, O Ojurongbe, OG Ayelagbe



An evaluation of knowledge, attitude and behavioural patterns of high school students in Oyo and Osun States, Southwestern Nigeria, towards HIV/AIDS was undertaken. A structured questionnaire was administered to respondents from six secondary schools that were selected by systematic random sampling method from the two States. The questionnaire focused on specific aspects of knowledge, attitude and behavioural patterns related to HIV/AIDS, its mode of transmission and preventive measures. Results from the study showed that 362 (73%) of the 496 respondents had correct knowledge of the causative agent of AIDS, 69% had correct knowledge of the mode of transmission, 83.2% had correct knowledge of the people at risk and 80.2% had good knowledge of methods of prevention. Attitude toward AIDS victims was however relatively poor with 21% believing that AIDS patients should be isolated and avoided and additional 7% believing that people should not eat or share utensils with AIDS patients. Only 57.7% believed that people should relate freely with AIDS patients. This study showed an improvement in the knowledge and attitude towards HIV/AIDS over a previous one carried out over a decade ago in the same locality, highlighting the importance of mass media campaign programme embarked upon by the States over the years. However, there is need to further increase the awareness campaign especially as it relates to attitude towards AIDS patients and also on information dissemination, which should be more detailed and formal. Incorporating sex education into the curriculum of secondary schools will be a welcome development in stemming the tide of this dreaded disease.

Keywords: knowledge, attitude, sexual behaviour, HIV, AIDS

African Journal of Clinical and Experimental Microbiology Vol. 6 (3) 2005: 247-252