Nigerian secondary school students are becoming sexually active at an increasing earlier age. Sexually active students are at risk of contacting STDs, including HIV infection. As a result, health education initiatives to increase level of knowledge, influence attitudes and encourage safe sexual practices are being implemented in schools, but the effectiveness of these programmes have not been evaluated. In this study, the knowledge, attitude and sexual risk behaviors of 223 students who received a comprehensive health education intervention were compared with 217 controls. At post-test, intervention students exhibited greater knowledge about HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention (P < 0.05). Intervention students were less likely to feel AIDS is a white man's disease and were more likely to be tolerant of people living with the disease (P < 0.05). After the intervention, the mean number of reported sexual partners among the experimental students significantly decreased from 1.51 to 1.06, while it increased from 1.3 to 1.39 among the controls. Among the intervention students there was also an increase in consistent use of the condom and the use of the condom at last sexual intercourse. We conclude that students can benefit from specific education programmes that transmit important information necessary to prevent risky behavior, and improve knowledge and attitudes on HIV/AIDS.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health