Assessment of Knowledge and Attitudes towards Human Immunodeficiency Virus, and Perceptions towards Premarital Sex among College students: A Cross-sectional Study
University/college students are at risk to Human immunodeficiency Virus because of their risky sexual behaviors. Interventions based on data are, therefore, crucial to mitigate the challenge related to human immunodeficiency virus among college/university students. This study aimed to assess the knowledge and attitudes of students at Gondar College of Teacher Education towards human immunodeficiency virus and their perceptions towards premarital sex. A cross-sectional quantitative survey employed on 400 students. Sample size determined using single population proportion formula where the individual participants selected by simple random sampling technique after proportionately stratified in department & year of study. The Data was collected through self-administered questionnaires and presented in frequencies and percentages. Inferential statistics determined using chi-square, independent t-test, and one-way Analysis of Variance. Most respondents (94.3%) had excellent knowledge of human immunodeficiency virus; some reported misconceptions. Third-year and sexually inexperienced students showed a low level of knowledge on human immunodeficiency virus (F = 6.198, p = 0.002). Many respondents (35.6%) had negative attitudes towards people living with human immunodeficiency virus. Chi-square analysis showed that negative attitude towards acquired immunodeficiency syndrome significantly associated with females (ꭓ2 (1) = 6.420, p = 0.011), unmarried respondents (ꭓ2 (1) = 4.178, p = 0.041), and younger ages (ꭓ2 (2) = 11.278, p = 0.01). One-hundred twenty-five (37.7%) respondents claimed a history of sexual experience. Many respondents (23.5% to 62.3%) showed permissive attitudes towards premarital sex. Most respondents showed good knowledge about human immunodeficiency virus & positive attitudes, however, some misconceptions, negative attitudes, and sexual practices observed in the study. Many respondents showed permissive behaviors towards premarital sex. Thus, future research and human immunodeficiency virus prevention interventions in the college should focus on behavior change models and strengthening cultural norms.
Keywords:Attitudes; HIV/AIDS knowledge; sexual practice; perceived sexual behavior
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