Risky sexual behaviour of pupils in Chingola High Schools: A comparative study between members and non-members of the Anti-Aids Club
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The purpose of the study was to investigate whether belonging to an Anti-AIDS Club or being a Peer educator reduces the likelihood of engaging in Risky Sexual Behavior. This research specifically focused on pupils in High Schools in Chingola who comprised those that belonged to Anti-AIDS clubs or Peer Educators and those that were not members of the Anti-AIDS Club. A survey of adolescents’ risky sexual behaviour in Lusaka colleges, confirmed that Peer education and support could be effective among adolescents. This was because peers could be main sources of information about sexual practices and therefore help to promote and maintain safer sexual behavior amongst their peers. Because of this aspect, there is a need for innovative programs, like Anti-AIDS Clubs in schools. The study used the Diffusion of Innovation Model (DIM) as a framework since it focuses specifically on how positive behavior can be reinforced. It raised important concerns as to whether forming of Anti-AIDS Clubs and training Peer educators was an effective strategic way of reducing Risky Sexual Behavior amongst school pupils. The study found that pupils that were actively involved in Anti-AIDS activities were less involved in Risky Sexual Behavior than their Peers who were non-members of the Anti-AIDS Club. Using DIM, has also found that the communication channels used to disseminate the information to discourage others from Sexual Intercourse, which is the main mode for HIV infection, was being implemented very well. However, the study has also found that the opinion leaders, being the members and Peer educators, have challenges in expressing themselves generally. This is because most of them have challenges in reading skills, whether in English or Vernacular. Understanding where the adolescents are, in terms of Risky Sexual behavior change and how they interact with each other, will allow more effective and efficient programs to reduce new HIV infection and transmission. It will also help to determine what messages and School based programs are required in order to make the most impact. When both partners recognize the problem, make a commitment to change, and communicate effectively with each other, there will be the highest reduction in high-risky sexual behaviors amongst adolescents.