Despite being aware of HIV and AIDS and associated risks, young adolescents in Nigerian secondary schools still indulge in risky sexual behaviours, sometimes to keep relationships, a study has revealed.
The research was commissioned by Consortium for Advanced Research Training in Africa (CARTA) in Lagos, Oyo and Osun states, Southwest Nigeria.
It examined sexual behaviour among secondary school students between 12 and 16 years through analyses of Nollywood Movies’ sex related contents; how sexual messages and scenes are communicated to viewers.
The research further examined the impact of such messages on viewers’ sexual behaviour and how they affect the sexual behaviour of in-school youths in Southwest Nigeria.
“It was the third aim of this study to find out what the perception of in-school adolescent is as regards safe sexual behaviour and HIV,” the research stated.
Dr Ayodele Alonge, a CARTA graduate and lecturer at the University of Ibadan, presented the findings at a dissemination meeting and noted that two thirds of the estimated three million HIV and AIDS infected persons in Nigeria were adolescents.
The theme of the meeting was ” The impact of Nollywood Movies on Awareness Creation about HIV and Risky Sexual Behaviours among in-School youths in Nigeria”.
The study stated that to prevent rising cases of HIV and AIDS among youths, there was a need for planned public health intervention to reduce risky sexual behaviours among adolescents.
It said public health intervention should be planned and implemented purposely to improve poor sexual behaviour of in-school adolescents.
According to the research, students sexual behaviour is poor as most cannot insist on condom use when having sex and they are enthusiastic to engage in sexual activities with someone not prepared to use condom.
It noted that students currently possessed right perception of safe sexual behaviour and HIV, which should be complemented through proper production of good public health intervention and proper monitoring by parents and guardians.
The study found that 41.8 per cent of parents talked with their children about HIV and AIDS and that 43.3 per cent of students talked with their friends about HIV and AIDS, while 36.5 per cent and their partners talked with each other about it.
It said majority of the respondents felt comfortable discussing sexuality with their friends as 39.4 per cent felt really comfortable discussing sexuality with their friends.
The study further said 41.6 per cent felt really comfortable discussing sexuality with their boy/girlfriend(s), while 18.9 per cent did not feel embarrassed talking to their father or mother about sex.
“This result translates to the fact that in-school adolescents have the right perception to safe sexual behaviour and HIV/AIDs,” it said.
The study stated that aside being able to refuse transactional sex, the students could not insist on condom use when having sex and were willing to engage in sexual activities with someone not prepared to use condom.
“However, they have moderate willingness to have sex with their boy/girlfriend to keep their relationship and can refuse to have sex if they are not interested and do not feel safe to have sex with someone they are familiar without using condom,” it added.
“The students currently possess right perception of safe sexual behaviour and HIV, this should be complemented through proper production of good public health intervention and proper monitoring by parents and guardians.
“The students’ sexual behaviour is poor as most of the students cannot insist on condom use when having sex and are enthusiastic to engage in sexual activities with someone not prepared to use condom.
“It is, therefore, recommended that public health intervention should be planned and implemented purposely to improve the poor sexual behaviour of in-school adolescents,” the study stated.
It suggested that more public health intervention which teaches behaviour that can curb risky sexual behaviour that leads to HIV be promoted to increase students’ awareness to abstain from acts capable of leading to risky sexual behaviours.
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