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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2019  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 87-92

Knowledge of sexually transmitted infections and practice of risky sexual behaviours among senior secondary school students in Jos North local government area, Plateau State, Nigeria


1 Department of Community Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Jos Campus, Bingham University, Karu, Nassarawa State, Nigeria
2 Department of Family Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Jos Campus, Bingham University, Karu, Nassarawa State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Sunday Asuke
Department of Community Medicine, College of Health Sciences, Jos Campus, Bingham University, Karu, Nassarawa State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/phmj.phmj_14_19

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Background: Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are diseases of public health concern among adolescents and young adults and occur in a quarter of teenagers who are sexually active. This study assessed the knowledge on STIs and the practice of risky sexual behaviours among senior secondary school students in Jos North Local Government Area, Plateau State, Nigeria. Methods: This was a cross-sectional study in which a structured, self-administered questionnaire was used to collect data on sociodemographical characteristics, knowledge on STIs and risky behaviours associated with STIs. Multistage sampling technique was used. Analysis was done using SPSS software version 20. Results: A total of 398 adolescents aged 13–20 years with a mean age of 15.5 (1.37) years participated in the study. About 50% were females and 90% of them were Christians. A majority (99.2%) of them had heard about STIs, and the major sources of information were from schools (21.7%), radio (13.7%) and television (13.2%). In all, 19.8%, 65.6% and 14.7% of the respondents had poor, fair and good knowledge of STIs, respectively. Of the 54 (14.7%) students that were sexually active, 48% practiced unprotected sex, 63% had more than one sexual partners and 25.9% had traded sex for money. Knowledge was not statistically significantly associated with the practice of risky sexual behaviour (χ[2] = 5.381, P = 0.250). Conclusion: The study found out that the participants generally had a fair knowledge about the types of STIs and they were found to exhibit worrisome risky sexual behaviour (having multiple sexual partners and recurrent STIs). Reinforcement of the current secondary school curriculum to emphasise comprehensive health education on STIs and dangers of the practice of risky sexual behaviour is needed.


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