Adolescents and HIV-related behaviour in Nigeria: does knowledge of HIV/AIDS promote protective sexual behaviour among sexually active adolescents?

Sunday T Omoyeni, Akanni I Akinyemi, Adesegun Fatusi


HIV/AIDS prevalence among Nigerian youth remains one of the highest in the world. Although studies confirmed a high knowledge of HIV among Nigerian youth, there is a lag in linking HIV/AIDS knowledge with protective sexual behaviour. The study utilized data from the Nigeria 2007 National HIV/AIDS and Reproductive Health Survey (NARHS). Analysis was on 865 sexually active adolescents. About 75% of adolescents had good knowledge of HIV/AIDS. Logistic regression models showed that HIV knowledge was significant predictor of non-use of condom (OR=2.34; p=0.041) and accepting gifts for sex (OR=2.02 p=0.043) among male, and predictor of multiple sexual partners (OR=1.30; p=0.023) among females. Regardless of HIV knowledge, higher education, older age at first sex, higher wealth index and urban residency are significant predictors of engagement in non-protective sexual behaviour. The study concludes that high knowledge of HIV/AIDS is not statistically significant in HIV protective attitudes among adolescents.


HIV/AIDS; Knowledge; Sexual behaviour; Adolescents; Nigeria

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