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HIV Preventive Measures among Adolescents Attending Secondary Schools in an Urban Community in Southwestern Nigeria

Adeleye Abiodun Adeomi, Oluwatosin Adediran Adeoye, James Olusegun Bamidele, Sunday Olakunle Olarewaju, Saliu Abdulsalam.

Abstract
Many studies carried out among adolescents in Nigeria generally report the practice of preventive measures against HIV to be poor. This study was carried out to assess the HIV/AIDS preventive measures among adolescents attending secondary schools in an urban community in Southwestern Nigeria. This was a descriptive cross sectional study, carried out among in-school adolescents in Osogbo metropolis, Southwestern Nigeria. The multi-stage sampling technique was used to select the respondents and data was collected with pre-tested, semi-structured questionnaires which were self administered and supervised by trained research assistants. A total of 370 questionnaires were administered and analysed using Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) version 16. Majority knew that HIV/AIDS could be prevented by not sharing sharp objects (305, 82.4%) and the use of condom (277, 74.9%). Three hundred and twenty nine (88.9%) of the respondents were aware of condom while 205 (55.4%) were aware of HIV Counselling and Testing (HCT). Seventy four (20.0%) respondents were sexually exposed, and only 21 (5.7%) of the respondents had ever used condoms before. Only 15 (4.1%) of the respondents had had HCT before and 189 (51.1%) had had sex education before. Most of the respondents were aware of the disease called AIDS, but their comprehensive knowledge about the disease and its prevention was not correspondingly high. Twenty percent of the respondents were sexually exposed but their HIV preventive practice was generally poor; there was poor and inconsistent condom usage, poor uptake of HCT and sex education and a poor perceived self efficacy among nearly half of the respondents. The stakeholders in adolescent reproductive health should work towards the provision of straightforward and elemental information about sex, and related practical issues that normally affect adolescents, like contraception, abortion and sexually transmitted infections to adolescents.

Key words: HIV/AIDS, adolescents, preventive measures, secondary school



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