The perceptions of students about risky behaviour that could make them vulnerable to HIV infection

Nghaamwa, Twahafifwa Ndahekelekwa Tupavali (2013-12)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The existing studies have shown that HIV is highly prevalent among the students at the institutions of higher learning. However, none of the studies has established the perceptions of risky behaviour that could lead to HIV infections among students. The chief aim of this study was is to establish the perceptions of the students at the Polytechnic of Namibia towards the risky behaviour which could make them vulnerable to HIV and ADIS in order to improve the life skill programmes and HIV and AIDS awareness programme. The objectives of the study were to establish the knowledge of the students about HIV infection, to evaluate what the students perceive as risky behaviour and identify risks that expose students to contracting HIV, to determine the perceptions of the students about risky behaviour that makes them vulnerable to HIV and AIDS, to identify the students’ attitudes towards a person living with HIV and AIDS, and to suggest strategies that can be implemented to improve HIV and AIDS awareness among the students and enhance life skills programme, and HIV and AIDS education. The objectives were met through a quantitative approach conducted to gather data from 500 full time students at PoN, the second largest institution of higher learning in Windhoek, the capital city of Namibia, in July 2013. The data was collected by using a self-administered questionnaire which exclusively consisted of close-ended questions. Ethical approval was obtained from the Ethics Committee of Stellenbosch University. The permission to conduct the study was requested and given from the registrar at the PoN. The participants were given a consent form to sign as an indication that they consent to take part in the study. Data collected was analysed using Epi-Info software and presented by means of pie charts, frequency tables, and bar graphs. It was found the students have efficient general knowledge on HIV and AIDS. The perceptions of risky behaviour were generally acceptable, however some students lack information on the epidemic. It was recommended that HIV and AIDS education and awareness programmes be expanded. Elimination of perceptions, and negative beliefs and reduction of alcohol and drug abuse among students are further recommended.

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