International Journal of Global Health

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Knowledge of Sexually Transmitted Infections and Socio-Demographic Factors Affecting High Risk Sex among Unmarried Youths in Nigeria

Background: Despite a relatively high level of knowledge of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), including HIV/AIDS and unwanted pregnancy, in Nigeria, 8 out 10 youths indulge in unsafe sex such as casual and multiple sexual partnerships, sex without condom, early sexual debut and most of them do not know their HIV status.

Objective: The main objective of this study is to examine the linkage between knowledge of sexually transmitted infections and high risk sex among unmarried youths in Nigeria as well as identifying individual factors that may influence the knowledgebehaviour gaps.

Methods: The study employed a secondary data from the 2013 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS). A sample of 7,744 females and 6,027 males aged 15-24 years were utilized in his study making 13,771 altogether. The data were analyzed using frequency distribution and logistic regression.

Results: The results show that both male (92.2%) and female (93.6%) have accurate knowledge of sexually transmitted infections. Nevertheless, the prevalence of high risk sexual behavior is high among Nigerian youths; this is evident as 77.7% (female) and 78.4% (male) are engaging in high risk sexual behavior. Both Socio-demographic and socio-economic factors were statistically significantly related with high risk sexual behaviour among male and female.

Conclusion: The study concludes that there is high level of knowledge of sexually transmitted infections among unmarried youths in Nigeria and the knowledge doesn’t translate to practice. Generally, the practice of high risk sex is high among unmarried youths but higher among male youths. There is need to further examine the factor that is making knowledge about STIs and HIV/AIDS not translate to practice. 

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