SOCIAL NETWORKING AND HIV/AIDS ASSOCIATED RISK BEHAVIOUR AMONG STUDENTS IN SELECTED NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES

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SOCIAL NETWORKING AND HIV/AIDS ASSOCIATED RISK BEHAVIOUR AMONG STUDENTS IN SELECTED NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES

Abstract:

The study ―Social Networking and HIV/AIDS Associated Risk Behaviour among Students in selected Nigerian Universities‖ was carried out to explore how social networking is associated with higher HIV prevalence and HIV-new infections among young people in Nigeria. Social networking platforms have features/chat rooms for flirting, adult-hook ups and sex chat. Young adults are constantly glued to these chat-rooms via the social networking sites. These virtual spaces are now preferred by them for lewd conversations which they are not comfortable to engage in physical spaces. Social networking sites enhance their chances of meeting multiple casual partners depending on their sexual preference and practices and in most cases; engage in unprotected sexual intercourse. Moreover, pornographic images shared and accessed via the social media increase their sexual desire and in their quest to quench their sexual desire, increases their HIV vulnerability. The major objectives of this study are to: to assess the extent of the use of social media by young people in the two selected universities in Northern Nigeria, examine the link between social networking, young people and HIV-vulnerabilities, establish how social networking impacts on Nigeria‘s efforts in getting to zero new-HIV infection and explore how social networking can be effectively used to communicate health effectively to young adults. The findings of this study imply that social networking is becoming part of young people‘s everyday life and if not properly utilized could lead to risky behaviours including HIV. The study recommends that: Universities and colleges should also encourage students‘ (especially undergraduate students) positive usage of Social Network Sites by creating study groups online on particular courses for students to engage in scholarly discourse since majority of users on these platforms are youths. Further research into the potentials of the usage of Social Network Sites should be encouraged as this will further help determine the extent of its capabilities to bring about development through effective communication and finally HIV/AIDS campaigns should be repackaged and taken to the social networking sites to educate the youths and engage their attention.

SOCIAL NETWORKING AND HIV/AIDS ASSOCIATED RISK BEHAVIOUR AMONG STUDENTS IN SELECTED NIGERIAN UNIVERSITIES

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