248470 Unsafe sexual practices and perceived risk of HIV infection among sexually active college students

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Olabode Ayodele, MPH , PhD , College of Health Sciences, Walden University, Minneapolis, MN
Background: Despite the relatively high knowledge of HIV/AIDS exhibited by college students, high risk behaviors that place them at increased risk of HIV infection have been widely reported. Most college students who report unsafe sexual practices believe they are not at risk of HIV infection. The students' low risk perception constitutes a major challenge to their commitment to behavior change. This study assessed unsafe sexual practices among sexually active college students in relation to their risk perception of HIV infection. Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted among undergraduate students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. Data were collected in August 2009 using a self-administered structured questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and bivariate analyses were carried out to analyze the study data using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) for windows version 17. Results: A total of 202 students participated in the study. About 43.0% of the students reported having two or more sexual partners in the past six months preceding the study. Thirty five percent of the students reported having had sex with multiple partners. Only 29.2% of the students reported consistent use of condom. The students' risk perception of HIV infection is very low. The mean of the perceived risk of HIV infection scale (four items) measured on five Likert scale was 6.1(SD=2.72). Conclusion: Participants engaged in high-risk sexual behaviors but perceived they are less susceptible to HIV infection. The study findings underscore the need for intervention programs aimed at improving safe sexual behaviors and objective assessment of perceived risk of HIV infection.

Learning Areas:
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related education
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
To assess high-risk sexual behaviors among sexually active college students in relation to their risk perception of HIV infection.

Keywords: College Students, Sexual Behavior

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am qualified to present because I teach epidemiology and conduct HIV prevention studies.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.