KNOWLEDGE AND COMPLIANCE OF UNIVERSITY UNDERGRADUATES TO VOLUNTARY COU…

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ABSTRACT

Early detection and treatment of infected individuals is an important step in the control of HIV epidemic. Voluntary counselling and testing is a concept developed in this direction. The study was conducted to determine the knowledge and compliance of Ebonyi State University Undergraduates to VCT for HIV/AIDS using a descriptive survey design. The sample consists of 384 full-time undergraduates selected from 3 campuses by simple random sampling. Self structured questionnaire was used to collect data. Data generated were analyzed and presented in frequency tables and percentages, chi-square (X2) was used to test the four hypotheses formulated for the study. The findings showed a good level of knowledge of VCT for HIV/AIDS (69.9%) among EBSU students. More knowledge existed among females (36.7%) although not statistically significant. Presco campus students (40.2%) have more knowledge than the other two campuses. All the students claimed to have done HIV test at one time or the other (i.e. did HIV test two times or more at three or six months interval voluntarily) but only 12.1% totally complied to HIV test voluntarily. Half of the respondents (73.4%) did HIV text “by own volition”. Confidentiality (78.7%) was the most important factor that would make EBSU undergraduates use VCT services for HIV test. The study noted that the number of students with good level of knowledge of VCT for HIV/AIDS did not reflect in the compliance level. It was recommended that awareness campaign on routine voluntary HIV test and safe behaviour practices to prevent HIV should be intensified to the public at large. Health care providers should ensure enabling environment that will make young people use VCT services for HIV test.

INTRODUCTION
Background to the Study
Globally about 70 million people have been infected with HIV virus while 35 million people have died of AIDS and 34million people were living with HIV by the end of 2011(WHO, 2014). An estimate of 0.8% of adults aged 15 – 49 years worldwide are living with HIV with variation in epidemics between countries and regions. Sub-Saharan Africa remains most affected with nearly 1 in every 20 adults living with HIV and accounting for 69% of people living with HIV worldwide (WHO, 2014). In Africa, an estimate of 1.7 million young people is infected annually (WHO /UN Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS, 2006). Many youths engage in risky behaviours, with fewer than 10% of the sexually active adolescent females from countries in sub-Saharan Africa reporting condom use (Human Development Report, 2004). In Nigeria 3.4million people are living with HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS, 2013).Thus voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) for
young people have been recognized as a major priority within the Nigerian HIVprevention programme.


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