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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 15  |  Page : 12-19

Young people's willingness to go for HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome counseling and testing in oluku community in South Nigeria

1 Senior Research Fellow, Health Research and Policy Development Group, Abuja, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Health, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria
3 Department of Community Health, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Anambra State, Nigeria
4 Senior Regional Medical Manager, Aids Healthcare Foundation, Abuja, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Kingsley Chinedu Okafor
Health Research and Policy Development Group, Abuja
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/nnjcr.nnjcr_33_19

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Background: Young people are vulnerable to HIV/acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) as they significantly contribute to new HIV infections in Nigeria and sub-Saharan Africa. HIV counseling and testing (HCT) provides an opportunity for increased awareness, prevention, treatment, care, and support for HIV/AIDS and contributes to the prevention and control of HIV/AIDS. Objective: This study aims to determine the HIV/AIDS awareness, knowledge of methods of prevention and transmission of HIV/AIDS, HIV status of sexual partner, and willingness to go for HIV/AIDS counseling and testing (HCT) among young people in Oluku Community, Ovia North East, local government, Edo State, South South, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study conducted between January and June, 2013, using multistage sampling method. Data were collected using interviewer-administered questionnaire adapted from the 2007 National HIV/AIDS and Reproductive Health Survey (NARHS) plus. Results: A total of 400 young people participated in this study; their mean age was 17.8 years (3.9 years). There were more females (211 [52.8%]) than males (189 [47.3%]). Majority (92.3%) of the young people were aware of HIV/AIDS; most heard of it via electronic media (81%), peers (63.5%), and parents (55.5%). Majority knew the methods of transmission of HIV/AIDS as having multiple sexual partners (80.0%), sharing sharps (78.3%), blood transmission (71.5%), and having unprotected sex (69.8%). Abstinence (50.1%) and condom use (37.8%) and faithfulness to partner (5.3%) were the methods practiced by most young people to prevent disease transmission and pregnancy. Most (61.9%) of the young people did not know the HIV/AIDS status of their partners before sexual intercourse. More than two-thirds (68.0%) had never gone for HCT, however majority (73.0%) of them were willing to go for HCT. Conclusion and Recommendations: Most young people were aware of HIV/AIDS and the methods of transmission, whereas more than two-thirds had never gone for HCT. However, majority of them were willing to go for HCT. Efforts should be geared toward improving access to HCT services by using stand-alone, mobile/outreach, and health facility-based HCT centers and community enlightenment on the importance of avoiding premarital sex and their roles in reducing HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infection transmission.

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