Sexual behaviour of college students in the era of HIV and AIDS: A case of four selected colleges in Lusaka
Zulu, Beatrice Matandiko
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The Government of the Republic of Zambia together with Non-Governmental Organizations have been informing the nation about the dangers of HIV and AIDS since the 1990s. Although the HIV and AIDS pandemic has affected all age groups in society,the most vulnerable groups are women and young people especially girls. The CSO report of 2003 indicated that 57.4 percent of the total population in Zambia was under 20 years and this constitutes the most vulnerable group to HIV infection because they are prone to taking risks because they are curious and ready to experiment. Even more at risk are young girls who (apart from socio cultural constraints) are continuously sought for sexual relations with older men who believe that their risk of contracting HIV and AIDS is lessened when they sleep with virgins. Although HIV knowledge and attitudes of youths are widely discussed among the general population, very little is currently known about the sexual behaviour of college students in the era of HIV and AIDS in Zambia. It is assumed that students in higher institutions of learning are more enlightened and would therefore have a more acceptable attitude towards change of behaviour with regard to issues of HIV risks. This study sought to find out the nature and extent of risky sexual behaviour in the backdrop of HIV and AIDS among college students in Lusaka.This study was mainly designed to examine Zambian college students' sexual practices,norms, beliefs and attitudes in relation to HIV and AIDS. The specific objectives of the study were; 1.To examine sexual risk behaviour of college students.2.To examine gender relations and practices with regard to sexual risk behaviour.3.To identify socio-cultural factors that may contribute to the risk of college youth contracting STIs including HIV.4.To examine the gender differences in knowledge, attitudes and beliefs towards condom use.