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Self perception on risk factors associated with HIV/AIDS infection among the blind youth in tertiary colleges

Abstract

Edwards J. Kochung and Michael Charles Were

There is concerted effort to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS globally, however people who are blind continue to lose their lives in Kenya due to lack of appropriate information on the risks associated with HIV/AIDS infections. The purpose of this study was to assess self perception of blind youth in tertiary colleges in Kenya on risk factors associated with HIV/AIDS infections. The results indicated that none of the students had accessed information through Braille; however the majority (90%) of the students in the study had received basic information on HIV/AIDS through friends, radio and television. Most of the students (70%) in this study felt that they are more at a risk than the general population and that disability is more stigmatizing than HIV/AIDS. Although, 60% confirmed having had sex in the last one year, 40% of them felt that only sex with casual partners cause HIV/AIDS and that they had not gone for VCT since it is meant for those who look sick. A high number of blind students (50%) felt uncomfortable working or associating with those who are HIV positive because they believe that they will be stigmatized also may easily be infected because of their inability to see. This study demonstrates that although the blind students in tertiary colleges in Kenya are sexually active, their perception of risks associated with HIV infections is still very poor. There is still need for provision of information and intervention on HIV/AIDS targeting the students in tertiary colleges

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