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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/609

Title: Addressing HIV/AIDS pandemic in the Ejura-Sekyedumase District: a study of knowledge, attitudes and sexual behaviour among unmarried 15-24 year-olds
Authors: Agyemang, Seth
Issue Date: 5-Aug-2009
Abstract: Statistics show a rising incidence of HIV/AIDS infection in the Ejura-Sekyedumase District of the Ashanti Region in Ghana. In spite of this development, many people in the district have limited knowledge and serious misconceptions about the disease. Some deny its existence, while others attribute it to factors such as curses, witchcraft and mosquitoes. Discussions with parents, opinion leaders and young people also confirmed that premarital sex is on the ascendancy in the area, contributing to the increase in the pandemic. The research therefore sought to examine the effects of knowledge of HIV/AIDS and attitudes on the sexual behaviour of unmarried people aged 15-24 years in the study area. Both quantitative and qualitative data were employed. The quantitative data was obtained through questionnaire administered on a random sample of 450 unmarried people aged 15-24 years. The qualitative data was obtained through in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. The effects of knowledge and attitudes on sexual behaviour were and the testing of the hypotheses were done using the chi square tests, with p≤0.05 as the level of significance. Other modes of analysis were frequency tables and bar graphs. There were four hypotheses for the study: (1) Knowledge of HIV/AIDS is significantly higher among people living in urban areas compared to those living in the rural areas. (2) Higher knowledge of HIV/AIDS results in less sexual activity. (3) Positive attitudes towards premarital sex results in less sexual activity, and (4) The higher the level of self-perceived risk of acquiring HIV/AIDS, the lower the level of sexual activity. The study used a modified form of the Health Belief Model as its conceptual framework. The results showed that 47.3% of the respondents had had sex. The mean and the median ages at first sexual intercourse were 17.5 years and 18 years respectively. The most important sources of information on HIV/AIDS were radio and television. Three of the four hypotheses were justified. Knowledge of HIV/AIDS was significantly higher in the urban area compared to the rural areas (p=.000). Secondly, high self-perceived risk of getting HIV/AIDS was associated with less premarital sex (p=.000). Thirdly, positive attitudes towards premarital sex resulted in less sexual activity (p=.007). However, the hypothesis on the relationship between knowledge of HV/AIDS and sexual behaviour could not be justified as the result was not significant (p=.058). Other results were that education had a positive effect on knowledge and several attitude variables. Sexual activity was lower among respondents who perceived a higher self-efficacy to abstain from premarital sex (p=.000), and among those who believed they could refuse sex for money (p=.007). Condom use at last sexual intercourse was also higher among respondents who perceived a higher self-efficacy to insist on condom use (p=.012) and among those who believed that condoms are effective in preventing HIV/AIDS (p=.009). Contributions to knowledge by the research include the provision of a comprehensive conceptual framework and justification for a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods in studying knowledge, attitudes and sexual behaviour. The findings call for increased access to formal education to defuse false perceptions and beliefs about HIV/AIDS, sustained education and communication on HIV/AIDS, HIV/AIDS education in health settings, accessibility to condoms, and financial/economic empowerment. Unmarried people also need practical skills to be able to translate knowledge on HIV/AIDS into behavioural change. Some areas for further studies have also been suggested.
Description: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Geography and Rural Development, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, 2009
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/609
Appears in Collections:College of Arts and Social Sciences

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