APPRAISAL OF KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDES AND PRACTICES OF SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS REGARDING HIV AND AIDS IN KURIA EAST SUB-COUNTY, KENYA
Marwa, Immaculate N.
Obey, Jackie K
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HIV and AIDS continue to be a heavy burden to most individuals, families and countries especially in the developing countries. Empowerment of the youth regarding HIV and AIDS can have a lifelong influence on their behaviour as individuals, their families and their communities. Youths when equipped with proper knowledge early in life, change of attitude and practices will be inevitable. The main objective for the study was to determine the current knowledge, attitudes and practices of secondary school students regarding HIV and AIDS in Kuria-Sub County, Kenya. Descriptive survey using a self-administered structured questionnaire was used to collect data from 354 students who were randomly selected from 6 schools out of 11 schools. The participants composed of 54% boys and 46% girls. Data was analysed using SPSS Version 17.0. The results show that students’ level of knowledge was high at an average score of 16.96 (73%), the average positive attitude of students was 10.50 (55.26%) while negative attitude standing at 8.50 (44.73%). The average acceptable practice was 4.62(46.2%) both towards people with HIV and towards the disease itself for behavior change. Approximately 5.38 (53.8%) of students still take the risk to expose themselves to HIV and AIDS regardless of year of study. There is need to intensify and broaden HIV education among primary schools and secondary schools, enhance HIV counselling in secondary schools on effects of stigmatisation, increase mass media campaigns against HIV specifically among secondary school students. Further consider distribution of condoms to secondary schools and the community, conduct frequent evaluation of the behaviour change programs. HIV youth programs in Kenya should focus on the attitudes and practices of the youth in order to change the picture of the whole youth population.