Factors influencing behaviour change for the prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS among students in Githunguri Division, Kiambu East District, Kenya
Ndegwa, Isabel Njeri
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The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) continues to spread in most countries of the world including Kenya. Since HIV / AIDS has no cure yet, behavior change has been fronted as the most likely scientific basis for the reduction in HIV prevalence. The virus is spread mainly by behaviors such as sexual behavior and drug taking that are generally private and sometimes difficult to discuss openly. This study looked at behavior change for the prevention of the spread of the Human Immunodeficiency virus (HIV) among students in Githunguri Division, Kiambu East District, Kenya. It was a descriptive survey. Out of the 28 public secondary schools in Githunguri Division, seven of them were randomly selected using the stratified sampling method, while one school was purposively selected as it was the only one of its kind, making a total population of 8 schools as the study population. Data was collected using a questionnaire. A pilot study was carried out to determine the feasibility of the research instrument. Descriptive and inferential statistics (chi-square at a significance level of 0.05) were utilized for analysis of data. Behavior change had occurred as 56% of the respondents had abstained from having sex as compared to 36% of the respondents who had not abstained. Out of the 36% of the respondents who had engaged in sex, 50.8% of them had used condoms as compared to 49.2% of the respondents who had not used condoms. Females reported an average of 1.48 sexual partners, while the male respondents reported an average of 2.03. Behavior change was influenced by religion, knowledge of HIV / AIDS, influence from HIV / AIDS prevention methods and gender. The study further revealed that there was a significant relationship between gender and HIV / AIDS, with more males engaging in risky sexual behavior placing them at risk of contracting HIV. HIV prevention efforts had a significant influence on behavior change for the spread of HIV / AIDS among students. The study recommends the need to have prevention efforts that focus more on males so as to enhance their behavior change as nationally, some 400,000 students graduate from secondary schools every year. These young people represent a key cohort for behavior change communication and character formation.