Teachers' and students' attitudes towards HIV/AIDS education : a study of secondary schools in Nakuru Municipality, Kenya
Mwangi, Peter Gachenge
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Recent statistics indicate that new HIV infections are primarily occurring among the youth. Teachers are also among the highly trained professionals who are dying of AIDS in large numbers. This means that the knowledge acquired from AIDS education has not translated into relevant behaviour modification. The attitudes teachers and students have towards I-IIV/AIDS education COUld explain this state of affairs. Attitudes predict future behaviour. They determine what one does or says and what one likes or dislikes. Thus attitudes towards HIV/AIDS knowledge may determine a persons, sexual behaviour. This study therefore sought to determine what attitudes teachers and students hold towards HIV/AIDS education in secondary schools. The researcher also hoped to establish whether gender, religious affiliation, training in HIV/AIDS, teaching and learning about HIV/AIDS have an influence on these attitudes. The descriptive survey design was used for the study. Teachers and students from Nakuru Municipality formed the population of the study from which a sample of 80 teachers and 120 students were selected using the stratified random sampling technique. Data was collected using the teacher attitude scale and the student attitude scale. Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to analyse the data. It was found out that teachers and students generally hold positive attitudes towards HIV/AIDS education in secondary schools. The conclusion made was that the irresponsible sexual behaviour among teachers and students alluded to is not attributable to their attitudes toward HIV/AIDS education but the inadequate knowledge of HIV/AIDS and lack of relevant training for teachers. It also emerged from this study that attitudes though important, are not sufficient for altering sexual behaviour of both teachers and students. Therefore, a multi-dimensional approach is recommended in sexual behaviour modification aimed at curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS. The study further recommends that similar studies be undertaken in rural and other urban centres to provide data for comparative analysis.