Determinants of self assessed HIV risk and sexual behaviour: A case study of youths at the University of Zambia and Evelyn Hone collge

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Kalindi, Audrey Mwape
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This study aimed at examining the determinants of self assessed HIV risks and sexual behaviour among UNZA and Evelyn Hone College students. A cross-sectional analytical study was conducted. Both quantitative and qualitative data was collected. Stratified random sampling (method of stratification being institution and sex) was used to collect data from 500 students who were interviewed using a semi structured questionnaire. Data processing and analysis, MS-ACCESS was used to process data which was then exported to SPSS for data analysis. Statistical tests were performed on certain variables. Contingency tables were used to facilitate presentation of findings, cross tabs and Bivarriate analysis was used to ascertain existence of relationships between variables. The findings show that knowledge levels on HIV are high amongst all students (77%). It is observed that nearly three-quarters of the students (70.6%) have had sex before and 36.4% are currently sexually active. Most students have first sexual intercourse at an early age between 16 and 20 years. Inter generational sex was high among female students 67.6% than male students 26.9%. About (59%) of the students use condoms every time they have sex as compared to 48.9% who used condoms the first time they had sex. Knowledge of the protective function of condoms was not found to be a good predictor of condom use. Twenty-one percent of the students reported having multiple concurrent sexual partnerships and only 23% of the students considered themselves to be at risk of HIV contraction. It has also been noted that campaigns to promote safer sexual relationships among youths have not been effective in persuading most students to take up safer sexual practices as there are still high levels of risky sexual behaviour. Findings indicate that generally students’ assessments of HIV risk are very low and they have high risky behaviours despite the education that the institutions of learning provide and other HIV programs around the country. The determinants of self assessed HIV risk among students vary with factors like sex, institution, knowledge of HIV and sexual behaviour. There is need to provide the youths particularly students, with comprehensive and accurate knowledge of HIV infection, transmission and prevention measures in order to strengthen risk perception and increasing safe-sex techniques.
AIDS (Disease) in adolescence , Intravenous drug abuse