A.3.Students’ Behaviour, Attitudes, Practices, Knowledge and Perceptions towards HIV/AIDS, the case of Chancellor College
Since studies elsewhere show high HIV/AIDS prevalence rate among tertiary students, this study aimed at finding out the case in Malawian University. The study also aimed at assessing the current HIV preventive programs in the university.
Objectives: to assess knowledge, practices, attitudes, and perceptions of Chancellor College students towards HIV/AIDS.
Methodology:A structured Questionnaire was used to collect data from a randomly selected sample of 600 students. These were anonymous and were provided on the basis of informed consent. The sampling was done in the halls of residence. In order to ensure gender participation in the study, efforts were made to sample equal number of male and female students by using equal number of questionnaires in their halls of residence.
To ensure anonymity, one big collecting plastic bag was provided in the halls of residence to collect filled questionnaires. The study was publicized on various notice boards on campus.
Results:The survey showed, in particular, a “considerable level of HIV/AIDS awareness” (can’t you quantify in numbers and sex ?) among Chanco students. They were especially knowledgeable of ways of minimizing their risk; and the messages of abstinence and condom use seemed to have been internalized.
The study reveals high sexual activity and high rate of condom use. It was also found that students’ activities, practices, behavior and attitude towards HIV/AIDS at Chanco expose them to the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS.
Conclusion: The results imply that there is high risk of HIV/AIDS among students in tertiary institutions.
Recommendations: It is seen that there is a great need of intensifying HIV/AIDS messages and interventions aimed at changing students’ behaviour.
Further research is needed both at Chanco and other tertiary institutions.