Sources of HIV/AIDS information among adolescents in public secondary schools and their implications in Nairobi, Kenya
Maina, Anderson Waithaka
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A survey of sources of HIV/AIDS information among adolescents in public secondary schools in Nairobi and their implications was done. HIV/AIDS continues to be a major health threat in Kenya and was declared a national disaster in 1999. Review of various researches have shown that adolescents source of HIV/AIDS information in spite of being many and varied, are not addressing adequately the HIV/AIDS information needs of adolescents. To address this state, several researches done have suggested that HIV/AIDS information should specifically target adolescents as a group. The use of preferred sources of HIV/AIDS information has also been identified as a potential powerful tool in future HIV/AIDS prevention efforts. However, in the literature reviewed, the use of preferred sources of HIV/AIDS information among adolescents was found to be under-utilised especially in Kenya. An information gap was found to exist on where adolescents in Nairobi preferred to get their HIV/AIDS information from and this needed due emphasis. The purpose of this study therefore was to survey the sources of HIV/AIDS information among adolescents in Nairobi public secondary schools and to find if there are sex, age and form/class differences in their preferences. Two theories were used to guide this study: agenda setting theory and social exchange theory. A target population of secondary school students from public schools in Nairobi Province was used. The sample size was 384 students from 6 schools selected using stratified random sampling. A background information and HIV/AIDS preferred sources of information questionnaire was used. Kruskal-Wallis and Chi-square tests were used to analyse the data using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences version 12. A Pilot study was done in order to validate the research instruments. The most common sources of HIV/AIDS information among adolescents in Nairobi public schools were found to be TV and radio. Health care workers, school lessons and TV were cited as the most preferred sources of HIV/AIDS information. The results of the present study revealed significant differences in preferred sources of HIV/AIDS information chosen based on class/form of study and the age of the student. There were also significant sex and class/form differences in sources of HIV/AIDS information chosen by students. Results of this study enlightened on the best ways to communicate HIV/AIDS information to adolescents in Nairobi secondary schools. After this study was done, it was recommended that efforts be made to encourage the use of preferred sources of HIV/AIDS information to educate adolescents in Nairobi. Health workers for example, were found to be a preferred information source. Since Health workers as a HIV/AIDS information source are currently under utilised, efforts should be made to encourage them to take active roles in adolescents HIV/AIDS prevention campaigns. As a recommendation for further studies, a similar study could be replicated in rural schools where there is usually limited access to print and broadcast media.