Nigatu Regassa, Seman Kedir
The main objective of this study is to assess higher education students’ attitudes and practice on preventive measures against HIV/AIDS. The 606 study participants were drawn from Addis Ababa University; which is the oldest and biggest public university in Ethiopia, through multistage sampling. Data were collected using quantitative survey (questionnaire) and qualitative (FGDs), and subsequent analysis was made through the use of descriptive statistics (frequency and logistic regression model). The results of the study revealed that 207(34.2%) of respondents were sexually active during the survey. Of these, 144(23.8%) had sexual intercourse with their partner or someone in the last 6 months. The mean and median age at first sex debut was computed as 17.8 and 18.0 years respectively. About 65.5% of the respondents had favorable attitude to HIV prevention. Three hundred and fifty nine (59.2%) of the respondents had experienced at least one of the three HIV prevention practices. Of which, more than half (52.4%) adopted abstinence as top preventive measure. The result also showed that out of the total respondents, 47.2% had been tested for HIV/AIDS and more than 80% had willingness to take VCT service for HIV/AIDS. Sex, previous residence, religious participation, pornographic viewing, alcohol intake, chewing ‘khat’ and cigarette smoking were found to have association with students’ attitude on HIV prevention. Similarly, age, having pocket money, pornographic film show and currently “khat” chewing are found to have some association with practices of HIV prevention. Finally, based on the findings, the study has forwarded some workable recommendations: Focus on more practical and workable preventive measures, strengthening HIV testing and anti-retroviral treatment services, and effective implementation of in-campus HIV policy are the major ones.
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