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Afr J Med Med Sci. 1994 Jun;23(2):119-25.

AIDS knowledge, attitude and behaviour patterns among university students in Ibadan, Nigeria.

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Department of Preventive and Social Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Nigeria.


This study investigated the knowledge, attitudes and personal behaviours of University students on AIDS. Two hundred and fifty students from the University of Ibadan randomly selected from eight faculties were surveyed. Results indicated that 58.7% of the subjects knew that AIDS is caused by a virus but 72.6% thought the disease could be spread through kissing, hugging or shaking hands and 48.0% believe they cannot have AIDS. Most students showed a high degree of aversion to AIDS victims while about a quarter reported having multiple sexual partners in the last five years. The results suggest that well organised, specifically targeted educational programmes are needed for University students.


To obtain information on the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) health education and risk-reduction behavior needs of university students in Nigeria, 252 undergraduates from five academic departments at the University of Ibadan completed a KAP survey. 41.7% were from the Faculty of Medicine; the remainder were enrolled in the Faculties of Education and the Arts, Social Sciences, Science and Technology, and Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine. 90.6% of students were familiar with the term AIDS. 58.7% knew AIDS is caused by a virus, but 72.6% believed AIDS could be transmitted through kissing, hugging, or shaking hands. The major sources of information were newspapers (51.7%), radio (27.5%), and magazines (10.3%). Persons identified as at risk of AIDS included homosexuals (85.3%), intravenous drug users (79.4%), promiscuous persons (79.4%), hemophiliacs (21.0%), bar maids (18.2%), and blood transfusion recipients (78.6%). 61.9% cited safe sex as the primary method of AIDS prevention. Aversion toward people with AIDS was the norm, and 78.2% believed AIDS patients should be isolated. Only 40.1% regarded AIDS as a serious problem in Nigeria. 48.0% did not consider themselves at any risk of AIDS, and 59.5% felt that educated people are unlikely to become infected. On the other hand, 48.0% reported multiple sex partners in the five years preceding the survey and 29.2% had had sexual relations when travelling outside of Nigeria. The medical students were no more likely to be sensitive to AIDS patients, concerned about the seriousness of Nigeria's AIDS epidemic, or committed to safe sex practices than their counterparts in other academic departments. The discrepancy between students' knowledge of AIDS and continued practice of high-risk behaviors and minimization of their personal susceptibility indicates a need for educational programs on university campuses.

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