EVALUATING THE EFFECTS OF HEALTH EDUCATION ON ADOLESCENTS' KNOWLEDGE AND PERCEPTION OF RISK TO HIV/AIDS IN SOUTHWESTERN NIGERIA

Adebimpe Wasiu Oladekan

Abstract


Introduction: Adolescents constitute a sizeable proportion of new HIV infections. Their reported poor risk perception to HIV/AIDs calls for a more formidable way of reaching them with HIV prevention messages. This study evaluated the effects of peer-led health education on secondary school adolescents' perception and knowledge of risk to HIV/AIDs in urban slum communities of Osun state.

Methods: Descriptive cross-sectional study of the pre and post-test type was carried out among intervention and control groups of 700 secondary students each, selected using multi-staged sampling method. The intervention group had a six months’ peer-led health education sessions. Research instruments were semi- structured self-administered pre-tested questionnaires. Data was analysed using the SPSS software version
17.0

Results: Two hundred and ninety-six (84.6%) and 283(80.9%) of respondents were aware of HIV/AIDs in the pretest of intervention and control groups respectively. An increase of 12.0% and 1.7% in awareness was recorded among intervention and control group respectively during post-test. With a high-risk knowledge but poor risk perception scores reported among both groups during pretest, there was an increase of 7.4% in risk perception scores among intervention and 3.2% among control group during post-test. Higher education classes and male gender were predictors of good risk knowledge and good risk perception respectively.

Conclusion: Adolescents under study had high awareness, high-risk knowledge but poor self-risk perception towards HIV/AIDs. Peer-led health education significantly increased risk knowledge and perception among study group than the control group.

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