University students’ attitudes towards HIV/AIDS in Finland and in Kenya, Acta Universitatis Ouluensis D Medica 995

The purpose of this study is to describe and to compare the university students? attitudes (knowledge, feelings and behaviour) towards HIV/AIDS (Human Immune Deficiency Virus/ Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) in Finland and in Kenya and to find explanatory factors associated with the sexual risk behaviour. For educators, managers and experts in health care and education the results will provide an opportunity to deepen their knowledge and awareness of students? sexual behaviour. These results may also be used for planning an educational programme for youngsters and young adults in order to promote healthy sexual behaviour. This study is focused on the viewpoint of preventive health care and sexual health promotion.\nThe study is a comparative research with quantitative and qualitative methods. The study group consists of 525 first year students (411 Finnish and 114 Kenyan students) of Oulu University of Applied Sciences, Oulu University and the University of Helsinki in Finland and of MOI University in Kenya. The response rate was 87.5%.\nThe results concerning the attitudes towards HIV/AIDS of the students showed that the Finnish and Kenyan students had a good level of knowledge concerning HIV and AIDS. Most of the information had been obtained from TV, campaigns, newspapers, and information packages. The role of the health care professionals was very small in both countries.\nThe most negative attitudes were found towards homosexuality (25.8% of the respondents) and intravenous drugs users (59.5%). The result showed that the level of knowledge did not have an effect on the level of their beliefs and prejudices of the students.\nIt was common for the respondents to be single during their first study year. No influence was found between the students? knowledge and the number of their sex partners or the frequency of the sexual activity. Almost the same number of students who reported using prevention always or almost always identified both HIV correctly (43.4%) and incorrectly (45.7%). The situation concerning AIDS was similar. The age and the importance of religion of the students had influence on the use of prevention.

Serlo Kaijaleena
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