How knowledge about HIV/AIDS influences the students' sexual behaviours in Secondary schools.
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Globally, the spread of HIV/AIDS remains on the rise especially among adolescents who are at increased risk of infection. Regardless of the proclamation of the jeopardy of early sex, students increasingly pick interest in sexual practice at a very early age than ever before. However, its magnitude in Secondary schools is not known and it is crucial that we fathom the various potential factors that are associated with early sexual practice, targeting knowledge among the students, prevention strategies they set up to avoid contracting HIV sexually, and their attitudes towards risky sexual practices. The objective of the study was to evaluate knowledge about HIV/AIDS in secondary school students, and how it influences their sexual behaviours. A descriptive cross-sectional study was conducted and 201 respondents were selected by random sampling from a secondary school. The findings of the study found that although the mean score of the participants’ responses to 17 HIV/AIDS knowledge questions was 12.7 of 17 points, there was an inconsistent level of AIDS knowledge with significant gender difference. Most of the respondents were not putting in effective means to deter themselves from contracting HIV while others were not even aware than some of their behaviours put them at a risk of contracting HIV. The attitudes of the respondents towards risky sexual activities were worrying with many respondents having misconceptions about the risky sexual behaviours. The data underscored the urgent need for AIDS-related education among secondary school students. The basic knowledge about HIV is present among the students; however, the preventive measures they put in to deter themselves from contraction are ineffective. Therefore, AIDS-related education should be set up targeting preventive measures and improvement in attitudes about risky sexual practices.