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ORIGINAL ARTICLE Table of Contents   
Year : 2016  |  Volume : 41  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 126-132
Does awareness of status and risks of human immunodeficiency virus impact risky transmission behavior among infected adolescents? A case study of clients Attending an Antiretroviral Therapy (ART) clinic in Kano, Kano State, Nigeria

1 Department of Community Medicine, Bayero University, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Kano State, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Health, University of Jos, Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Plateau State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Umar Muhammad Lawan
Department of Community Medicine, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, PMB 3452, Kano, Kano State
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-0218.177533

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Background: Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive adolescents by virtue of their position are prone to dangerous behaviors including risk-taking for HIV transmission. Objective: To determine the awareness of HIV status and risk factors for HIV transmission among HIV-positive adolescents, and how these impact their behavior. Materials and Methods: A case study approach was used to study a random sample of 400 HIV-positive adolescent children attending an antiretroviral (ART) clinic in Kano, Kano State, Nigeria. Data were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) 16.0 computer statistical software. Result: The mean age of the adolescents was 14.9 ± 3.15 years. The majority were females (54.8%) from a polygamous family (57.5%). About two-thirds or 251 (62.8%) patients knew their HIV status. The age of 14 years and above (z = 11.36, P = 0.0001) and having at least secondary school level of education (z = 2.78, P = 0.005) were significantly associated with awareness of HIV status on binary logistic regression. Up to 311 (77.8%) patients had good awareness of the risks of HIV transmission. Awareness of risk of HIV transmission was associated with awareness of HIV status (X 2 = 166.2, P = 0.0001). There was a significant variation in the behaviors between those who were aware of their HIV status and those who were not. Paradoxically, the percentage differences in risk-taking were remarkably high in all the variables examined, and were all in the direction of the adolescents who had good knowledge of the risk factors for HIV transmission. Conclusion and Recommendation: Health ministries, development partners working in this field, and behavioral change communication experts should develop formidable strategies for addressing this menace. There is also a dire need for further research in this area.

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